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Sausage and Pepper Brunch Strata

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Sausage and Pepper Brunch Strata
This image courtesy of ezgf.blogspot.com

Load up on sausage and vegetables in the morning with this Sausage and Pepper Brunch Strata recipe from Anne Colagioia. If you're short on time in the morning, make this breakfast casserole the night before and then put it in the oven in the morning.

Preparation Time: 30 min

Chilling Time: 4 hr

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Ingredients
  • FOR THE STRATA:
  • 1/2 pound sausage, casing removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh bread cubes
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • FOR THE OPTIONAL CHEESE SAUCE:
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Grease a shallow glass or ceramic casserole dish with a 2 quart capacity.
     
  2. In a large nonstick pan over a medium high heat, break up the sausage and sauté until it just starts to brown.
     
  3. Add the peppers and onions with some salt and pepper to taste and up to a tablespoon of olive oil if the pan looks too dry then sauté the peppers and onions for about five minutes or until the veggies begin to soften and the onions look translucent.
     
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the bread cubes so that they will begin absorb some flavor as you make the custard.
     
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with some salt and pepper to taste then add the milk and whisk until smooth and set aside.
     
  6. Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared casserole dish and pour over the egg mixture being careful to evenly distribute it. Cover and refrigerated for at least 4 hours but up to 24 hours so that the bread can absorb the custard mixture. when you’re ready to make the strata, bake it in a preheated 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C oven for 1 hour then let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
     
  7. As it rests you can make an optional cheese sauce by combining the butter and cornstarch in a small saucepan over a medium low heat. Stir constantly as they melt together and begin to bubble then stir in the milk and continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken then add the cheese, cayenne, salt, and pepper then give the sauce a final stir and it’s ready to ladle over the strata.
Notes

If you are following a gluten free diet be sure to use gluten free bread cubes. If you are mainly concerned with being gluten free but not concerned about your fat and calorie intake you could substitute 1 1/2 cups half and half instead of the milk in the strata. Marinara sauce also works well as an optional topper for the strata.

For more gluten free recipes from Anne, be sure to check out her Featured Foodies profile page.

To see exactly how Anne makes this make-ahead breakfast casserole recipe, watch this cooking video:

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