Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Ooohhh! Try it...I did and even though I hated it (it has EGGS in egg-y form in it and that's just gross) everyone else loved it. Isn't that strange how you can make foods that you know you hate, but make 'em good enough that people actually want to eat them? I probably would never make it in the commercial chef world because I don't eat half the things I make and somehow bringing my mother into the kitchen to test my seasonings on any dish that contains eggs, tomatoes, or lima beans doesn't scream "professional," I still love this cooking business through and through! :o) Sweet! Here you go, from memory:

Bacon, Ham, & Gruyere Cheese Strata

4 eggs beaten or 1 cup egg substitute (think lower in cholesterol and fat)
12 oz. french bread, cubed and toasted
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (Swiss, Cheddar, Co-Jack, Mozzarella work too)
3/4 cup diced ham
1/4-1/2 cup REAL bacon pieces (or 4 slices, cooked and crumbled)
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 tbsp. gourmet mustard (whatever you like)
1 cup chopped bell peppers (or green onion, like the original recipe called for -- I wanted the sweetness and color of the peppers -- tasted quite good)

Toast cubed bread in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown, stirring a couple times to prevent burning. Toss bread, ham, and peppers in a 2 quart pan. Mix eggs, milk, mustard, and pepper together; pour over bread and ham. Sprinkle with cheese and cover. At this point you can refrigerate overnight or cook immediately.... Ah, the limitless choices. If you choose to bake it now, leave it covered and bake for 20 minutes at 350. Uncover and sprinkle with bacon; continue baking for 15 minutes or until the egg mixture is set and the cheese is bubbly.

Actually, I did try it and I think it tasted ok, for a meal that is mostly made up of egg. Dan loved it and his folks said it was really, really good -- 'course, his dad thought blueberry cobbler for dessert was the best part...... :o) Substitute however you like -- switch out the bread, change up the meat, add in more veggies (or all veggies if you prefer), experiment with the cheeses, and play around with the mustard.

Yes, I am a dork -- but most people already knew that. :o)

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