Cheese and Mushroom Strata
It’s called strata because it’s layered. This makes a great brunch dish. Do
everything but the baking the day before, then just bake and serve in the morning.
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 large or 2 medium onions, 1/2” dice
1-2 bell peppers, preferably red, ½” dice
olive oil or butter
large stale Italian bread, crust removed and sliced (You will need enough to
make three layers in your baking pan.)
½-¾ lb cheese, coarsely grated (swiss, cheddar or your favorite)
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
1. Sauté onions in 1-2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large pan. As the onions start to soften, add the diced peppers and a little salt and black pepper Continue sautéing until the onion are lightly colored. Remove onions and peppers to a dish. Don’t wash the pan. In the same pan sauté the mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Continue sautéing until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms start to brown. Mix with the onions and peppers. Beat together the eggs and milk, season with a little salt and black pepper.
2. Grease a 2 ½-3 quart baking pan or casserole dish. Flatter is better than deeper because everyone likes the top crust. Divide the onion mixture roughly in half and the cheese in thirds. Cover the bottom of the pan with bread, then
half the onion mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Cover this with another layer of bread, the other half of the onion mixture and another third of the cheese. Cover with a last layer of bread. Pour the milk and egg mixture all over the top, sprinkle with the last third of the cheese.
3. Cover the pan with plastic or foil, and refrigerate at least one hour, preferably overnight. About an hour and a half before you are ready to serve, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Uncover the pan and bake for 45 minutes to
an hour. It’s done when the top is nicely brown. Serve hot or warm.