This recipe makes a perfect centerpiece for a breakfast buffet during the holiday season — and as a bonus, it can easily be assembled a day before baking. Serve for with a green salad or fresh-cut fruit for easy entertaining.
Sausage Strata with Cheddar Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1/2 lb. sweet or hot pork sausages, casings removed and meat crumbled
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup slivered dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter for greasing
12 slices soft white bread, each 1/2 inch thick, crusts removed
1/4 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
In a fry pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan, return to medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk, salt and pepper until blended.
Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange 6 of the bread slices in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared dish. Top evenly with half of the sausage, half of the tomato mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, sausage, tomato mixture and cheese.
Slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the layers. Wrap the dish securely in plastic wrap and weight with large cans to submerge the layers. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish. Bake until the strata is puffed and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve. Serves 6.