Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ham and Asparagus Strata Recipe

This Saturday brunch recipe can be assembled Friday evening, giving you the opportunity to sleep in on Saturday morning if you like.  Who doesn't like to sleep in every once in a while?

Ham and Asparagus Strata

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus 
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) Challenge Unsalted Butter 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper 
  • 2 medium sweet white onion, quartered and thinly sliced (about 3 cups) 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced (about 1¼ cups) 
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 3 Tablespoons prepared spicy brown mustard 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 2 ½ cups milk 
  • 2 cups diced fully cooked ham (about ¾ pound) 
  • 12 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3¼ cups) 
  • 1 loaf (16 ounce) sourdough French bread, cut in ½-inch cubes 

  1. Cut asparagus into ¾-inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water then cool quickly in ice water and set aside. 
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground red pepper and sauté onion, garlic and red bell pepper. 
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs and combine with mustard and black pepper then mix in milk. Place half of the bread cubes in a well buttered 13x9-inch baking dish. 
  4. Add layers of half the amounts of the onion mixture, asparagus, ham and cheese. 
  5. Add second layer of bread cubes and pour half of the egg mixture over the layers. Repeat layers with remaining onion mixture, asparagus, ham and cheese. 
  6. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the assembled layers. 
  7. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  8. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.   Now, I am mindful of the folks who may not want to turn on an oven this time of year - this can be cooked in your crock pot.  Cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until cheese is bubbly.

The dish is really tasty and feeds 8 - 10.  Depending on how hungry you are I guess.

And if you are looking to make it a bit healthier?  You can substitute egg beaters (about 1/4 cup per egg) for the eggs and non-fat milk for the regular milk, you can use low-fat cheese (I wouldn't recommend non-fat cheese as it doesn't melt very well) and use cooking spray instead of butter to  sauté the vegetables.  It won't taste quite as good, but it will have fewer calories and less fat.  And sometimes "healthier" is a good way to start the weekend.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!  Have you had  brunch yet?  Does this recipe make you wish

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