Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

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    Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

    1/4 cup softened butter
    1 (8 oz.) Italian bread, cut on the diagonal into 18 (1/2" thick) slices
    20 thin slices (1/2 lb.) Gruyere or Swiss cheese
    5 slices (4 oz. Virginia ham, stacked, quartered
    20 large fresh basil leaves
    1 large firm tomato cut into 9 thin slices, slices halved
    3 1/2 cups milk
    6 large eggs
    1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

    With 1 tbsp. butter, grease 13x9x2 baking dish.  Spread remaining  butter on 1 side of each bread slice.
    Layer:  bread slice (buttered side up)
    1 slice of cheese,
    1 piece of ham,
    1 basil leaf, and 1 tomato slice on either side of each slice of bread.
    Continue layering in that manner, leaving off tomato slice at 1 end. Makes 2 rows side by side.
    In large bowl, whisk milk, eggs, mustard and pepper sauce.
    Pour over dish.
    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
    Uncover dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
    Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 minutes until puffed and golden brown and knife inserted in center tests clean.
    Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

    I tore this recipe out of McCall's magazine many years ago.  Enjoy.


     
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    Re: Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

    tt,
    Your strata sounds just delicious! I can see your strata is quite different from what I know as "strata". The recipes, I have come across, have mainly cut up bread chunks. Do you cut off the crust? Is it difficult to cut and serve?
    - Pingo
     
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    Re: Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

    It may not even be a "strata", Pingo.   Remember this was published back in the 80's or 90's and wasn't called that, that 's just a name I dubbed it.  Forgive me if I don't know a "strata" from a " - - - - - -". 

    No, you leave the crust on.  I'll try to take a pic of the pic that came with the recipe.  When baked it softens from the egg mixture, and is no more hard to cut than French Toast.  It was delicious.
     
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    Re: Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

    tt, thanks so much for that picture! This explain it all. I am pretty good at guessing, but I couldn't understand layering and "making two rows side by side". It looks much more elegant than the strata I know. Now I can see how you serve it. One can just pick up one "slice" at the time. How clever. I will definitely make it someday.
    If you normally use ham slices, why can't you just use deli turkey breast or chicken breast slices?
    Or just leave the ham out all together? How about smoked salmon? Would be yummy and healthy - Pingo
     
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    Re: Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

    Good morning, Pingo

    You know not my family - I would love asparagus myself, but only one person that I know of family-wise would even touch that.  Smoked salmon?  No, not that either.  And I am not that fond of chicken/turkey in a dish like that.  So there you have it.  With the ham it is delicious.  I guess the hot sauce will give it enough zip without it,  and I think I'll add a lot more thinly sliced tomatoes.  I myself like the juiciness of them in it, sort of like when you make a mini pizza out of an English muffin, tomato slice and cheese under the broiler.  Yum.
     
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    Re: Tomato, Ham, Cheese Strata

    I agree with you, tt. The sliced tomatoes would be fine in your strata. You are only using 6 eggs, so the juiciness of the tomatoes will be just fine. And I think no one will miss the ham. There are enough taste in the cheese, especially if you use Swiss - lots of taste in that one.
    I hope you will remember to let me know, how it turns out sans the ham. Would be a dish I could use for my vegetarian guests. - Pingo
     
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