Green Chile and Cheese Breakfast Strata

What to do with baguettes once they get stale? Make croutons? Sure, or save them in the freezer and make breakfast strata once you have enough.

This is very popular breakfast item at my office. And by varying the eggs versus egg whites and nonfat versus whole milk and fat profile of the cheese, you can make it very light or very rich or something inbetween. If you make it the night before, refrigerate, and then bake in the morning, it is warm and delicious for an office treat or potluck. Consider getting an insulated carrier for your Pyrex so it stays warm all morning.

Once this dish is cooked, the bread disappears into the fabric of the strata and you have a nice, uniform texture made delicious by Hatch green chile. If you do decide to commit and get your own fresh chile and roast it, try Diaz Farms. We pick ours up in the Fall at their drop off location in Southern California and then roast and freeze in bags of six. Then you can make this yummy dish all year long.

Ingredients:

6 whole, peeled and diced Hatch green chile or about 3/4 of a cup canned
10 eggs and/or an equivalent amount of egg whites
2 1/4 cups milk (I used lowfat but you can substitute nonfat for a lighter
take or whole for a richer one)
Sliced frozen white bread (I used whatever is in the freezer — sourdough,
baguette, french)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (or whatever other cheese you prefer)
Salt and Pepper

If you have fresh chile, peel and dice and set aside.

Defrosted green chile ready to peel

Defrosted green chile ready to peel

Peeled green chile ready to chop

Peeled green chile ready to chop

chopped green chile

chopped green chile

Oil or spray a 9 x 13 inch oblong Pyrex baking dish.
Place one layer of bread in the dish.


Distribute half the chile on top of the bread, followed by half the cheese.
Repeat.

Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.


Pour over layers.

Depending on the bread type and volume, you may need to add a bit more of
the egg and milk mixture. You can do this one egg and 1/3 -1/2 cup of milk
at a time. You want the liquid to be absorbed by the bread, so make sure it
comes close to the top of the layers. And, make sure your layers fall below
the top of the baking dish.

Level of egg and milk mixture against level of bread chile and cheese layers

Level of egg and milk mixture against level of bread chile and cheese layers

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The strata will puff up and
form a hard crust on top. When a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean,
it is done.

Slice and serve. You can add salsa or sour cream. Serve with fruit and you
have a yummy holiday breakfast or potluck offering.

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