Ham, Asparagus, and Cheddar Cheese Strata

Serves 8. Fine Cooking Magazine no. 30. Part of the Day After Thanksgiving Brunch Menu.

Ingredient Amount
Unsalted Butter 2 Tbs.
Asparagus ends snapped off and cut into 1 inch pieces 1 pound
Portobello Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thinly 4oz.
Scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 bunch
Deli Ham, thinly sliced and cut into 1 inch strips 8 ounces
Large Eggs, beaten 9
Whole Milk, 2 3⁄4 cups
Ciabatta bread, cut into 1 inch cubes 1 loaf
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated 3 cups

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the asparagus, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the spears start to brown and soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and scallion whites and cook until soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a couple of minutes.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs with the milk, 1⁄2 tsp. of salt and pepper.
  4. Spread half of the bread in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the egg custard and then cover with half the ham, cheese and asparagus and sprinkle half the scallion greens. Repeat with the remaining bread, custard, ham, cheese, asparagus and scallions.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down so the bread is completely submerged in the egg mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days, before baking.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Let the strata stand at room temperature while the oven heats. Bake until the custard sets and the top browns, about 30 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, cut into squares and serve.