This easy breakfast strata is the ultimate way to start the year


By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

I didn’t grow up eating many casseroles, and the main event at my family’s holiday brunch was bagels and lox. So, the first time I encountered a breakfast casserole at a New Year’s Day shindig, I was dubious. Where was the Nova and whitefish salad? Or at least the coffee cake and French toast I associated with parties held before noon?

One bite of that golden-topped casserole, though, set me straight. Bits of crunchy melted cheese speckled the surface, while the inside was creamy, savory cubes of bread strewn with sausages and onions, flavored with sage. It reminded me a little of Thanksgiving stuffing, but cheesier — and better with coffee.

Perhaps best of all for our host, it could be assembled entirely before the New Year’s Eve revelries even began. The next morning, while her morning coffee brewed, she simply popped the cold pan into a hot oven. An hour later, it was a bubbly, burnished vision on the table. So easy, filling and especially soothing after a night of copious Champagne-drinking, it made me a breakfast casserole convert from that moment on.


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