How did we make it here? Less than a week to go until the big Christmas day. I made 5 dozen peppermint mocha cookies over the weekend in addition to candy cane fudge and cinnamon sugar candied nuts. Ironically, I also hung out with my dentist. (She’s my good friend and loves to bake too!)
While cookies and candies and all the sugars (!!) have been on our minds this month, I’m switching the gears and asking the grand question: what’s everyone making for Christmas brunch?
We’ll be with my side of the family this year and with that comes a whole lot of Christmas brunch tradition. We always start off with this dark chocolate raspberry coffee cake to snack on with coffee, then move on to omelets, fried potatoes and onions, fruit salad, and Grandma’s pecan rolls (that recipe’s in my first cookbook!).
This year, there will be 13 of us so we’re doing things on a slightly larger scale. We’re adding my overnight cinnamon rolls to the brunch line-up (thinking of making the maple version though… thoughts?) and 2 batches of today’s overnight ham and cheese strata. Probably nixing the omelets altogether because this strata is low maintenance and takes about 5 minutes to prep.
More time for family. And PRESENTS! And Christmas dogs.
When I mention low maintenance, I’m not messing around. All you do is put everything into a casserole dish, throw it into the fridge overnight, and bake in the morning. There is no pre-cooking anything. You can buy bread and pre-cooked ham from the store. Or use leftover ham if you’ve got it in the fridge. Not a fan of tomatoes? Leave them out. Want more peppers? Add more in. Low maintenance and LOW KEY.
First, what’s a strata you ask? It’s a layered breakfast casserole with eggs, bread, and cheese. But we’ll add meat and veggies and spices to make it extra fabulous. Strata dishes require a rest to let the eggs soak into the bread, usually an hour or overnight.
This dish is so low maintenance, that it literally needs a nap.
I know, ground mustard?!?! Trust me on this one. The flavor is incredible with the ham and cheese. Your strata will not taste like mustard. You know how you usually add some sort of mustard to deviled eggs? Same thing goes here. Ground mustard is a common ingredient in strata.
Also scallions and fresh ground black pepper for flavor! Are you a fan of spice? A dash of hot sauce is dynamite.
Besides the ease of preparation, something has to be said about this strata’s texture! The bread and eggs create this incredibly chewy, soft, crisp-on-the-edges base. (The edges are definitely the BEST part, by the way.) There’s also plenty of warm melted cheese, an element of savory fresh from tomatoes and peppers, plus lots of wonderfully salty ham. Needless to say, we’ve been madly thankful for all the test batch leftovers lately.
Add this wildly simple casserole to your Christmas brunch!
Freezing: Prepare through step 3, then cover the casserole with plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature, then continue with step 5.
Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.
See more savory breakfast recipe ideas.
And all my sweet rolls if you need cinnamon roll inspiration! (There’s a lot.)