Now That’s Entertaining: Comfy Christmas Breakfast

December 17, 2013

One of our favorite parts of Christmas morning is sitting down to breakfast, everyone in PJs and slippers, still giddy with the post-gift-exchange glow. When the house is full with family and friends, it’s best to have on hand a hot and delicious casserole that feeds many and, thankfully, can be prepped in advance. Enter the traditional strata, a savory bread pudding layered with hearty eggs, luscious cheese and colorful veggies. Forget the milk and cookiesthis filling, comforting dish is just what Santa ordered. (Don’t forget to prep this recipe the night before, to let the flavors get cozy for at least 8 hours before baking.)



One bunch of fresh spinach
One red bell pepper, chopped
One large red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
7 cups cubed baguette
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
2 oz goat cheese
2 ¾ cups milk
9 large eggs


Christmas Eve:
In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in butter. Add the chopped red pepper and half the salt and black pepper. Saute until the onion is soft. Butter your baking dish, and starting with bread cubes, create six layers of bread, spinach and Gruyere, reserving some bread and cheese for the top. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and the rest of the salt and black pepper. Pour the egg-milk mixture evenly over strata. Add remaining bread and Gruyere to the top, then add goat cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight, at least 8 hours.

Christmas Day:
When ready to bake, preheat the over to 350F and take the strata out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the house smells of wonderful deliciousness. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving to let the layers firm up.