‘Oopmphy quiche’

When dreams of sugarplums have morphed into a living room floor littered with wrapping paper and toys, the last thing you want to do is pull away from the holiday fun to get breakfast on the table. A do-ahead recipe lets you have it both ways.

Keep time in the kitchen to a minimum on Christmas morning by serving this filling and versatile ham and cheese stratta for breakfast. If prepared the night before it can be baking away as gifts are unwrapped.

When dreams of sugarplums have morphed into a living room floor littered with wrapping paper and toys, the last thing you want to do is pull away from the holiday fun to get breakfast on the table. A do-ahead recipe lets you have it both ways.

This easy stratta (think oomphy quiche) is made by arranging ham and cheese sandwiches in a baking dish, then pouring a mixture of eggs, milk and cheese over them. Top everything with a bit more cheese, then put it in the oven and walk away.

The whole thing can be assembled in about 10 minutes. And even that can be done the night before. Like bread puddings and baked French toast, this stratta can be assembled and refrigerated the night before. Pop it into the oven while the presents are being unwrapped.

This recipe also is particularly versatile. If ham and cheddar aren’t your thing, try turkey breast and Jack cheese, cooked bacon and cream cheese or thinly sliced cooked sausages and mozzarella.

Ham and Cheese Stratta

10 slices sandwich bread

45 ml (3 tbsp) Dijon mustard

5 slices deli ham

5 slices deli cheddar cheese

6 eggs

250 ml (1 cup) milk

250 ml (1 cup) heavy cream

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground black pepper

250 ml (1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

1 pkg (250 g/8 oz) fresh mozzarella rolled with prosciutto

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Coat a 3-l (13-by-9-inch) baking dish with cooking spray.

Use bread, mustard, ham and cheese to make 5 sandwiches. Arrange sandwiches in a single layer in prepared baking dish. You may need to cut a sandwich in half to get them to fit evenly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Pour mixture over sandwiches, then press bread gently with a fork to help them absorb liquid.

Use a serrated knife to cut roll of mozzarella and prosciutto into about 15 thin slices. Arrange slices over top of stratta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set at the centre and lightly browned at the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Makes 8 servings.

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