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Strata Strategy
overnight-sausage-strata

When my son moved back home from college for the summer he brought along one of his football teammates to live with us for a few months. After just a couple of weeks I realized I needed a new strategy for feeding these two hearty eaters. I would prepare a meal with “leftovers” in mind assuming I had made enough to feed them not just one meal but, with leftovers, two or possibly three meals. That strategy quickly flew out the door as the boys consumed every bite of the original meal, night after night. I was simply running out of ideas on what to fix for dinner that would satisfy their ravenous appetites. What’s a mom to do? Develop a new strategy – a Strata Strategy!

Stratas are overnight egg bakes that aren’t just for breakfast or brunch anymore. They make a mom’s life easier because you prepare the strata the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Then, when you get home from work it’s ready to pop in the oven and 45 minutes later out comes a hearty meal that everyone loves. Overnight Sausage Strata is filled with spicy sausage and flavorful Cheddar cheese. Both boys love eggs so this meal has delivered a new menu option that fills them up and is easy on me!

The night before you plan to serve this for dinner you will need about 30 minutes to prep the strata. Start by cooking the sausage and peppers in a skillet until the sausage is browned and the peppers are crisply tender. I often buy sausage on sale and keep it in my freezer so I always have some on hand.

cooksausagepeppers3-copy

Next combine the cooked sausage mixture and the bread cubes. The recipe calls for cubed French bread but, I use whatever bread I have on hand. This is a great use for leftover bread including sandwich buns, rolls, etc. I use a mixture of anything I have around - the last two hamburger buns or the leftover slices of French bread from last night’s spaghetti dinner (another “easy on mom yet filling meal”).

bread-cubes-and-sausage

Place the sausage and bread cube mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Or, you can use a 12-inch oven proof skillet for a dramatic presentation at the table. There is no drama necessary when feeding two hungry 20-year olds so the 8-inch square worked just fine for me.

8inchsq3-copy

In the same bowl (why dirty more dishes?) combine the half & half, melted Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread, eggs and onion salt. Beat together until well mixed.

beat2-copy

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sausage and bread cube mixture.

pouring-egg-mixture

Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Cover tightly, I use plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

sprinkile-cheese-on-half

When you are ready to bake the strata preheat your oven to 350°F. Uncover it and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The cheese will turn a nice golden brown as well. Let the strata stand for 5 minutes before serving, this makes it easier to cut.

final-strata

When I serve this for dinner I also serve a tossed salad and some fresh fruit. And, don’t forget, this strata makes a great main dish for a hearty breakfast or brunch too.

This recipe is one that can work in a number of situations.  Do you have recipes like this  Overnight Sausage Strata?

I encourage you to try this reacipe and then come back and rate and review the recipe. Come back next week and visit this blog. We will sharing how-tos and tips for grilling some fabulous entrees.

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Karen,
I agree, anything I can prepare ahead and just put in the oven when I get home works for me!
Becky

Posted May 10 2011 by Becky

This strata is very similiar to one I do for Christmas breakfast. I use cubed ham instead of sausage and do not use peppers as i am not fond of for breakfast. It was strange to get this as I am planning on doing a ham strata and I was going to try a sausage strata for Mothers Day as I would not have to do anything on Mothers day except heat the oven.

Posted May 06 2011 by Mary

What a great idea to use a "strata" for a dinner meal! I like anything I can do ahead.
Thanks!

Posted May 06 2011 by Karen

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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.


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