What’s better than staying in on New Year’s Day? With a little forethought on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, you can arrange to have a homemade breakfast come sizzling out of the oven on January 1st (2015!) while you avoid the kitchen, lounging instead on the sofa while you contemplate your resolutions.
How? This genius breakfast strata.
A day or two before the near year, plan to shop for ingredients. You’ll need eggs, half and half, cauliflower, onion, butter, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, and some spices. If you have leftover bread or rolls around, use them. If not, buy those too.
Then, before you go out on New Year’s Eve, tear up the bread or rolls–roughly, no need to be precise about this step.
Dollop the cream cheese on top of the bread. That might seem like a surprising move, but the dollops will melt into creamy centers when the strata cooks. You won’t know they’re there, exactly, you’ll just find every bite rich and delightful. To finish up the strata, we’ve got some vegetables, namely cauliflower and onion, to round out the richness.
An omelet-like mixture of eggs, milk, seasonings, and cheese goes over all this, seeping into every morsel of the bread while the whole casserole dish is stored in the fridge and you’re out celebrating the year that was and welcoming the upcoming one.
Next morning, all you have to do is pop the strata in the oven.
The cheese melts.
The vegetables grow sweet and even more caramelized. The bread, like a pudding, puffs up, then sinks again.
Cut wedges, garnish with scallions, and serve to any friends who ended up sleeping in your living room.
Keep reading for the recipe!
Make-Ahead Cauliflower Breakfast Strata
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup of shredded Jarlsberg
5 dinner rolls (onion, Kaiser ect.)
8 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces butter (plus more for greasing)
10 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon chopped scallions (light and dark green parts only)
2 teaspoons cry mustard
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
Mise en place: Core and cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Thinly slice the onions. Mince the chives. Tear the rolls into bite sized pieces. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Brown the onions: In a large pan over medium heat, heat 2 teaspoons of oil until hot. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft and browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the onions to a plate and wipe out pan.
Sauté the cauliflower: In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 teaspoons olive oil until hot. Add just enough cauliflower to cover the bottom of the pan and cook stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes until the cauliflower has softened and browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cauliflower to the same plate as the onions and repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Now, mix the liquid ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, minced chives, dry mustard, chipotle pepper and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Build the omelet: In the greased baking pan, add the torn rolls to cover the bottom of the pan. Cut up cream cheese into small pieces and wedge between the rolls. Layer the caramelized onions and cauliflower over top then pour in the egg mixture. Scatter with the Jarlsberg then cover with pats of the remaining butter.
Rest the omelet overnight OR Bake the omelet: At this point you should ideally wrap the casserole in foil and refrigerate it overnight. Whenever you’re ready to eat, simply bake at 350°F, covered, for 45 minutes.Remove foil and continue for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.