A Breakfast Casserole With Sausage And Peppers
|For the strata|
|Sausage||1⁄2 Pound (Casing removed)|
|Red bell pepper||1 Medium, diced|
|Green bell pepper||1 Medium, diced|
|Onion||1 Small, diced|
|Olive oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Bread cubes||4 Cup (64 tbs) (Fresh gluten free bread cubes used)|
|Milk/Half and half||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Black pepper||To Taste|
|For the optional cheese sauce|
|Milk||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Cornstarch||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Butter||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Parmigiano reggiano/Pecorino romano cheese||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Cayenne pepper||To Taste|
1. Grease a shallow glass or ceramic casserole dish with a 2 quart capacity.
2. In a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat, break up the sausage and sauté until it just starts to brown.
3. Add the peppers and onions. Season with some salt and pepper to taste and a tablespoon of olive oil if the pan looks too dry.
4. Then, sauté the peppers and onions for about five minutes or until the veggies begin to soften and the onions look translucent.
5. Turn off the heat and stir in the bread cubes so that they will begin absorb some flavor.
6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with some salt and pepper to taste.
7. Then, add the milk (or half and half) and whisk until smooth and set aside.
8. Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared casserole dish and pour over the egg mixture being careful to evenly distribute it.
9. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours) so that the bread can absorb the custard mixture.
10. When you're ready to make the strata, bake it in a preheated 350 F / 175 C oven for 1 hour.
11. When done, remove and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
To prepare the optional cheese sauce:
12. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and cornstarch over a medium-low heat.
13. Stir constantly as they melt together and begin to bubble.
14. Then, stir in the milk and continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken.
15. Then, add the cheese, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.
16. Give it a final stir and it’s ready to ladle over the strata.
17. Garnish with sprinkles of some more cayenne, a dash of parsley and serve warm.
Marinara sauce also works well as an optional topper for the strata.