2012-12-06 / General Stories

From the Chef’s Corner

Tomato Cheese Strata
by Chef Deedle

When it comes to breakfast, we Texans start it off big, also proving that eggs are all-time-favorites to many recipes that make hearty main dishes and accompaniments.

¼ cup butter, softened
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut into ½ inch slices
1 ¾ cups shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 ½ cups (6 oz.) shredded Swiss Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 (16 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
4 beaten eggs

Combine 1/3 cup butter and garlic, mixing well. Trim crusts from bread; spread each slice with garlic mixture. Place enough breadslices,butteredsidedown,ina13x9x2inchbakingdish so bottom and sides are covered; set remaining slices aside.

Combine cheese, salt, pepper; mix well and sprinkle about 1 ¼ cups over bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices, placing buttered side up. Sprinkle bread slices with about 1 ¼ cup cheese mixture.

Melt 1/3 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in tomatoes. Gradually stir about one-fourth of white sauce into eggs; add to remaining sauce, stirring constantly. Pour over casserole, and top with remaining cheese mixture. Cover and chill overnight.

Uncover and bake at 325 degrees for one hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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