Saturday, August 14, 2010


1 large loaf Italian or French bread, cubed
12 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon flavored garlic olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups half & half
2 cups whole milk
12 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons spicy grain prepared mustard
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
3 teaspoons dried or fresh herbs to taste; basil, dill, thyme, etc
sprinkle of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning

Spray a 9" X 13" Pyrex baking dish or casserole pan with vegetable spray, and set aside. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Leave 2 Tablespoons bacon fat in the pan, and add the olive oil to it. Saute onion and pepper in the fat until crisp tender. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine half & half, milk, eggs, salt, nutmeg, pepper, cumin, mustard and 2 teaspoons of the herbs, and whisk until foamy. An electric mixer works well for this, but it can also be done with a hand whisk. Add the cubed bread to the liquid and stir to coat. Place half the bread mixture in the prepared pan. Layer with half the bacon, onions and peppers and cheese. Repeat with the rest of the bread, bacon, onions, peppers and cheese. Make sure to pour all leftover liquid over the top of the casserole. Fold under gently until the strata is mixed well. Sprinkle with the last teaspoon of herbs. Sprinkle with a good dash of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake for 65-80 minutes, more or less, or until knife comes out clean. Test the middle of the strata, as this takes the longest to bake. Serve with a big salad and Mimosas for brunch!

bacon recipe courtesy of: Donna Diegel, Providence Food Examiner, May 12, 2009

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