Breakfast strata is so easy to make and so impressive when it comes to the table puffy, golden, and as high as a soufflé. You need to start it the night before, but otherwise the ingredients and the method are very straightforward.
I made this for Carol’s recent visit to Santa Fe, but it is a perfect breakfast during the holidays. You won’t need much more than juice or fresh fruit and a beverage.
Pancetta and Sun-Dried Tomato Breakfast Strata
- 6 – 8 ½-inch slices of sourdough or French bread, crusts trimmed
- 6 tablespoons butter + more to grease the baking dish
- ½ cup dry-preserved sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
- boiling water
- 8 thin slices pancetta
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups cream
- salt and pepper
- 8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
- Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven for 40 minutes, turning once. When cooled, butter one side of the bread and set aside.
- Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. Then drain, chop finely, and set aside until ready for assembly.
- In a small sauté pan over medium heat, lightly brown the slices of pancetta. Set aside.
- In the same sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the wine and simmer until reduced to about half.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy. Stir in the cream and the shallot and wine mixture. Set aside until ready to assemble.
- Heavily butter an 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Line the bottom with a layer of buttered bread, buttered side up and trimming pieces to fit. Spread the slices of pancetta evenly across the bread. Top with the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pour one-half of the shallot, egg, and cream mixture over the top. Sprinkle on one-third of the grated cheese.
- Place another layer of bread on top. Pour over the remaining cream mixture and sprinkle with half of the remaining grated cheese. Reserve the rest of the cheese to sprinkle on top immediately before baking.
- Cover with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Weight down with a brick or other heavy object and refrigerate over night.
- About an hour and a half before you are ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator. Remove the brick and the covering and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and place in the middle of the oven preheated to 325°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the center is puffed and brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then serve. Four to eight servings, depending on appetite. Like quiche, it is delicious cold the next day.