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  • Erika erika@thepotrack.com

Leek and Bacon Strata

This handy make-ahead recipe works as a delicious brunch item or if you're looking for an easy supper, you can simply add some shredded chicken to the party. This is even more scrumptious if you put it together the day before you bake it. For all of my bread bakers out there... this is a great way to use up those leftover ends, bits and pieces of your delicious sourdough delights.


Ingredients

Oil for coating the dish

1 pound day-old bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 8 cups)

2 Tblsps olive oil

6 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 Tsp kosher salt, divided

10 ounces bacon (about 10 slices), diced

12 large eggs

3 cups whole milk

2 Tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tblsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 cups cheese of your choice, grated (I like Havarti or Fontina)


Instructions

  • Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with oil. Place the cubed bread in the baking dish in an even layer and set aside.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the leeks and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

  • Add the bacon to the skillet and sauté until it is cooked through and golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to plate lined with a paper towel.

  • Whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper together in a large bowl.

  • Spread the bacon over the bread cubes, followed by the leeks. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then pour the egg mixture over the entire thing. Cover and let the casserole rest for at least 15 minutes. Or place in the refrigerator over night.

  • Heat the oven to 350°F. If you made the casserole ahead, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

  • Bake uncovered until the edges are bubbling and the top begins to brown, 50 to 65 minutes. Check the interior with a knife; if it comes out clean, the custard is baked through.

  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with a crisp salad or some assorted fruits.

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