SAUSAGE & CHEDDAR CHEESE STRATA
I do not recommend skimping on the half-and-half. I had fat free half-and-half available to me last weekend, and while the flavor was good, it was slightly runny. The beauty of this particular breakfast casserole is that it does not require "marinating" over night - therefore, no forethought or preplanning are required. You can whip this up the morning of your breakfast or brunch in less than one hour. Also, the original recipe calls for 24 oz. breakfast sausage and that is a LOT of sausage - I cut the breakfast sausage in half and only used 12 oz.
- 24 oz. ground breakfast sausage (12 oz. regular & 12 oz. hot) - I used only 12 oz. Jimmy Dean reduced fat breakfast sausage
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2-1/2 c. half and half
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 6 potato bread or soft white bread slices, crusts removed
- 2 c. grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives, flat leaf parsley, or green onions (both white & green parts)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with Pam or grease with butter.
2. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly browned (5-7 minutes). Drain sausage and transfer to a paper towel.
3. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, sage, kosher salt, and pepper.
4. Layer the bread in the prepared baking dish and top with sausage.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and top with cheese.
6. Bake until the strata is set in the middle, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
7. Garnish with chives, green onions, or parsley.