Anniversary Strata a la Clarke

Yesterday was my 16th anniversary!  I am so excited because both my husband and I remembered the date!  We usually remember our anniversary days/weeks later and laugh that we did it again… forgot the date.  Well something must be turning in our relationship that “the date” is more important!  It is not that we didn’t want to remember; we are moving at a million miles an hour all the time.  I guess we are finally remembering to take time for each other.

Enough of that  mushy stuff… let’s get cooking!  Breakfast, the most important meal of the day!  I totally subscribe to this notion and love to make pancakes, french toast, omelets and other breakfast goodies.  Lately I have been hooked on creating the perfect strata recipe. 

Not familiar with strata?  It is basically an egg casserole that you fill with bread, eggs, cheese and other goodies.  It is baked for a long time to get the eggs set.  I love making a baked version for breakfast parties, but on a Saturday morning post a Friday night of fun… who wants to wait for baking?!?  Here’s a quick easy way to have a fancy breakfast in 20 minutes!

Strata a la Clarke

Step 1-

  • 4 slices of bread cut into 1 inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder

Heat olive oil in a 10 inch skillet (one that can also be placed in an oven).  Toss in your bread and sprinkle with garlic powder and toast the bread till done.  Remove when toasted. 

Step 2-

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • diced ham
  • cheese
  • salt, pepper
  • spray olive oil

Spray your skillet (bottom and sides) with olive oil spray.  Next layer in your toasted bread, ham and cheese.  Whip your eggs with milk and sprinkle salt & pepper to taste, pour on top of the layers. 

Turn on your broiler on low and make sure you have a rack a good 12 inches or more away from your broiler.  On a medium flame (stove top) start cooking your strata for about 5 minutes, just untill you notice most of it setting up.  Place skillet into the oven and let broil for 5-7 minutes depending on how you like your eggs.  Remove from your pan carefully not to break it; I use a very flexible spatula and work it under till it is free and slide on a nice serving dish.  You want to do this as it will continue cooking on the bottom and it will end up with too much of a done crust.

And that is it!  We served ours with toast (my homemade bread) with lots of my homemade apple butter.  We topped ours with giardiniera.  Not familiar?  We eat it by the jars full here in Chicago!  It is an Italian mixed pepper, olive, veggie condiment swimming in good olive oil!  There is a HOT and a mild version… we like them both!  We add it to pizza, sandwiches, eggs, anything that needs a kick!

Hope your Saturday morning is as yummy as our has been!


Candis aka West


3 responses to this post.

  1. YUM! I’m hungry.


  2. Posted by lcesnick on March 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I thought Joe and I were the only couple the forgot our own anniversary! LOL!
    Happy Anniversary Candis and Jim!

    Great pics! Recipe looks divine!


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