This is an adapted recipe from The Joy of Cooking, they call it Cheese Casserole. I originally got the recipe from someone and lost it… so I hunted high and low and found something similar in the Joy of Cooking under a slightly different name. By any name it’s delicious.
I use commercial white bread and doubled the amount of slices of bread because it’s thinner than the bread called for in the recipe.... the amount should equal roughly 4 cups of buttered bread cubes.
I used margarine... I happen to like "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" margarine.
My recipe uses more eggs and milk than the Joy of Cooking... I found the lesser amount can be a little dry... mine is a more custardy casserole.
Use whole milk for the best results.
I have used it for over 20 years and always received raves about it… it’s a great addition to a brunch… or if you add finely chopped ham to it (about a cup) and serve it with a salad, it makes a great lunch or light dinner.
Cheese Strata Recipe:
All you need:
7 slices of white bread (1/2 inch think) or 14 slices commercial white bread
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
A dash of cayenne
½ teaspoon dry mustard
Butter flavored cooking spray
All you have to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9x13 or 11x7 baking dish (11x7 preferred) with butter flavored cooking oil spray.
Lightly butter the bread slices.
Cut 2 of the slices crosswise to make triangles. Cut the remaining bread into cubes.
Layer the baking dish with baking cubes and shredded cheese, alternating between the bread and the cheese, starting with bread cubes.
If adding cubed ham... I add it in between the two layers of bread cubes.
Lay the 4 triangles across the middle of the top.
In a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, paprika, cayenne and dry mustard and beat until smooth.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes.
Bake about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
*Recipe and Post updated 01/31/10
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