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Sausage, Mushroom Strata

This recipe was originally from Cooks Illustrated, but I’ve modified it significantly to make it lighter and more flavorful. This takes about 30 minutes the night before, but the involvement on the morning is just putting it in the oven and then serving in an hour. This is a great dish for serving a crowd.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
Servings: 12-15

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of supermarket french bread
  • 8 oz of ground sausage
  • 4 oz of mushrooms, sliced or quartered if small
  • 1 onion diced 1/4"
  • 2 small or 1 larger summer squash cut in 1/2" dice
  • 4 oz of dry white wine
  • 8 oz of pepper jack cheese, grated.
  • 2-1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 8 eggs
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs - I use french thyme and basil and chives

Instructions:

  1. cut the loaf into ~1" cubes. spread 1/2 the cubes in a 9"x13" glass baking pan which has been sprayed with Pam or similar cooking spray. Retain the other half of the bread.

  2. Saute the sausage, using a potato masher to break it up into small chunks. as it is starting to brown, add the mushrooms, onions and saute until the onions are translucent. add the summer squash and white wine. simmer for 5 minutes and then distribute over the bread in the baking pan. Spread half the cheese over the sauted material and then the reserved portion of the cubed bread. Spread the rest of the cheese on top.

  3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Pour over the bread mixture in the baking pan. cover with saran wrap. Place a smaller 9"x13" baking pan on top and press down to bring the liquid level to the top of the bread. weight the top pan and refrigerate over night.

  4. remove the weighted baking pan and saran wrap. Heat the oven to 350 F. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Test to see that the egg custard has set. Serve.

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