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The cheese-bread-and-eggs make-ahead casserole.

What's in a name? These make-ahead (8 to 36 hours) breakfast, brunch, lunch, or supper casseroles may be called stratas, fondues, puffs, or overnight casseroles, but they are all essentially the same. You start by fitting layers (strata) of bread, cheese, and other ingredients snugly in a baking dish; saturating them with eggs and milk; and letting the dish stand so the liquid soaks in. Baked, the dishes are consistently moist and creamy.

The combination is flexible, with many opportunities for variations that each create a new dish. The first variables are the bread and cheese. Here we make use of dark pumpernickel with jarlsberg, sourdough with mozzarella, rye with Swiss, and whole wheat with cheddar.

Like sandwich fillings, good-tasting elements such as sardines and dill, sausage and salsa, sauerkraut and corned beet or a mixture of vegetables all pair quite readily with these specific bread-andcheese combinations.

Norwegian Strata

About 1 lo& (1-lb. size) thinly sliced

dense-textured dark pumpernickel bread

1 pound jarlsberg cheese, shredded

3 Cans (33/4 oz. each, 28 to 38 count)

small sardines

6 large eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and

dry dill weed

1 medium-size red onion, minced

Sour cream, optional

Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Line bottom snugly with a single layer of bread, cut to fit (edges can overlap slightly). Make another layer of bread to fit on top, then lift out and set aside.

Sprinkle half the cheese over the bread in the dish. Arrange half the sardines in 2 rows on top of the cheese. Cover with the reserved bread slices, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and arrange remaining sardines in 2 rows on top of it.

Beat eggs, milk, nutmeg, and dill weed until blended; pour over casserole, moistening entire surface. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 or up to 36 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 [degrees] oven until edges of casserole are lightly browned and center is firm when gently touched, about 40 minutes. Cool 15 minutes on a rack. Sprinkle some onion onto strata. Cut into rectangles and offer with remaining onion and sour cream to add to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 547 cal; 38 g protein; 37g carbo.; 28g fat; 326 mg chol.; 761 mg sodium.

Mexican Pizza Casserole

Use canned or bottled salsa, which is cooked, rather than refrigerated salsas.

1 pound bulk pork sausage

About 1 loaf (1 -lb. size, cut into 1/2

inch-thick slices) sourdough bread, crusts trimmed

1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 cups canned mild red salsa

6 large eggs

3 cups milk

Parsley sprigs

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring to crumble and brown meat evenly, about 8 minutes; drain off the fat and discard; set meat aside.

Butter a 9- by )3-inch baking dish. Line bottom snugly with a single layer of bread, cut to fit (edges can overlap slightly). Make another layer of bread to fit on top, then lift out and set aside.

Sprinkle bread with half the cheese, then pour I cup of salsa over cheese, and scatter half the sausage over salsa. Cover with the reserved bread slices; repeat to make top layer.

Beat eggs and milk until blended and pour over casserole, moistening top evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 to 36 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 [degrees] oven until edges of casserole are browned and center is firm when gently touched, about 50 minutes. Cool 15 minutes on a rack. Top with parsley, and cut into rectangles. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Sue Allen, Mendocino, Calif.

Per serving : 512 cal.; 28 g protein; 33 g carbo.; 29 g fat, 286 mg chol.;- 1,246 mg sodium.

Reuben Fondue To cut sodium content, rinse drained sauerkraut with cool running water, then drain again.

About 1 loaf (1 -1 b. size, 1/2-inch-thick

slices) rye bread, crusts trimmed

1/2 pound thinly sliced corned beef

2 cups canned sauerkraut, drained

1/2 cup minced dill pickles

1/2 teaspoon caraway seed

1 pound Swiss cheese, shredded

6 large eggs

3 cups milk

2 teaspoons dry mustard

Butter a 9- by )3-inch baking dish. Line bottom snugly with a single layer of bread, cut to fit (edges can overlap slightly). Make another layer of bread to fit on

top, then lift out and set aside.

Cover bread with half the corned beef slices. Mix together sauerkraut, dill pickles, and caraway seed and distribute half the mixture evenly over the corned beef. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Cover with the reserved bread slices; repeat to make top layer.

Beat eggs, milk, and dry mustard until blended; pour over casserole, moistening evenly Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 to 36 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350[ degrees] oven until edges of casserole are lightly browned and center is firm when gently touched, about 40 minutes. Cool 15 minutes on a rack, then cut into rectangles. Makes 6 to 8 servings.-Geneva Shaver Claremont, Calif.

Per serving: 595 cal; 38 g protein; 39 g carbo.; 32g fat,- 316 mg chol.; 1,603 mg sodium.

Broccoli-plus Casserole

Different kinds of whole-wheat breads can be used in this dish. Choose a standard whole-wheat, one with wheat berries, or try a multi-grain bread

About 1 loaf (1-lb. size, 1/2-inch-thick

slices) whole-wheat bread, crusts trimmed

1/4 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine

1 large onion, diced

1/2 pound mushrooms, rinsed and

sliced

3 cups cooked broccoli flowerets, or 1

package (16 oz.) thawed frozen broccoli spears

2 tablespoons dry basil leaves

1 teaspoon pepper

1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded

6 large eggs

3 cups milk

Butter a 9- by 1 3-inch baking dish. Line bottom snugly with a single layer of bread, cut to fit (edges can overlap slightly). Make another layer of bread to fit on top, then lift out and set aside.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add onion and mushrooms. Stir often until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned, about 15 minutes, Spoon into a bowl.

Chop broccoli. Melt remaining butter in the frying pan and add broccoli; stir often until broccoli is very dry. In the frying pan, stir together broccoli, basil, pepper, and onion mixture.

Distribute half the vegetable mixture over bread, then cover evenly with half the cheese. Cover with reserved bread; repeat to make top layer.

Beat eggs and milk until blended and pour over casserole, moistening evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 to 36 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 [degrees] oven until edges of casserole are lightly browned and center is firm when gently touched, about 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes on a rack. Cut into rectangles. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 539 cal; 29 g protein; 33 g carbo.; 37g fat, 295 mg chol.; 762 mg sodium.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1988
Words:1160
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