We had friends visiting over this past weekend so I'm slightly off the grid as far as posting our "everyday" meals but I do want to share some of our weekend meals with you especially since we'll be enjoying the leftovers over the next few days.
I love a relaxing Sunday morning breakfast with good friends and a quiche like strata with its combination of eggs, bread and cheese is a hostess' dream because it needs to be prepped in advance.
We've lots of strata recipes on this site but what makes this one different is the addition of hash browns. Oh and we mustn't forget the meat. I used bulk pork sausage (Jimmy Dean's Original to be exact), but you could certainly substitute chopped ham or even crispy bacon.
We really enjoyed this casserole, particularly the guys because it really is a "he man" kind of hearty flavor filled dish. My only wish is that I'd made the strata in a cast iron pan rather than a casserole dish because the heat from the cast iron would have given the hash browns more of an opportunity to crisp up; however, I solved the issue this morning by re-warming leftovers in a frying pan to make my "wish" for a crispy crust a reality.
We've Paula Deen to thank for the original, but since I cut down on the butter, eggs, and cheese and adjusted the spices, I've listed my version below.
Sausage and Hash Brown Strata from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Paula Deen
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 cups cubed French bread (with or without crusts)
1 pound bulk sausage (I used Jimmy Dean’s Original)
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Spray a 9 x 13 casserole with cooking spray and set aside. Dry thawed hash browns by blotting with a paper towel and spread evenly in bottom of casserole. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and when butter melts, add onion. Sauté until onion is transparent. Sprinkle onion on top of hash browns in casserole dish. Layer bread cubes on top of
Return sauté pan to heat and crumble in sausage. Cook, stirring with a fork until sausage is cooked through and no longer pink. Cool slightly then sprinkle on top of bread cubes in casserole.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light. Add milk, salt, pepper, Dijon and hot sauce. Pour mixture evenly over sausage/bread/hash browns in casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To bake – preheat oven to 350. Remove plastic wrap from casserole sprinkle half the cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 1 hour. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake additional 10 minutes or until casserole is puffy and a knife placed into center comes out clean. Makes 8 servings.