Most of the time I make this dish with whatever is on hand, roasted vegi’s from the night before work great, along with the Cheese and egg/milk mix and bread,  no meat is required, and it comes out great everytime, so for you veg-heads out there, yes you know who you are, do it the way you would like it, meatless. But for the rest of you……here it is as I would serve it as a restaurant special of the night.
Strata is one of the all time favorites in my house, not only because it’s delicious, but it’s also so easy and can be made from a variety of ingredients. It’s a perfect way to use leftovers, or it can be made fancy which is the recipe I’ll share here. It’s a layered Italian omelet, I like to make it in a Deep Pyrex Bowl, but it can also be done in a 9×9 inch deep casserole dish as well as a 13x9x2 , it all comes out the same DELISH!!!
1 Loaf Stale Sourdough Bread (day old will do).
5 eggs (seasoned w/ black pepper to taste, no salt is needed, because of the meat and cheese)
2 cups Mayfield milk
10 oz. Mixed Land ‘O’ Lakes Cheese, Gruyere, Havarti, Pepper Jack, or whatever floats your boat!!
10 oz. Procuitto, Soprasato, or Italian Ham of choice
1 lb Sauteed Cremini Mushooms
3 Scallions(green onions) Chopped
 Enough Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to oil the dish generously)
Start with a layer of bread, then mushrooms, meat, and cheese
Repeat until there’s no more room.
In a bowl, whisk together milk and eggs and pour mixture evenly over ingredients.
With a spatula, press gently and evenly all over, until the milk/egg mixture starts to rise to the top and everything is saturated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. but better if it sits all night.
Get up, start a  good strong pot of Peet’s Coffee (French Roast or Major Dickinsons)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and uncover the Strata and put it in the oven for 45 min to 1 hour, until it’s golden brown and poufy and bubbly. Remove and let it rest for 15  minutes, (it will deflate, that’s supposed to happen). Cut with a wet Cutco Knife, and enjoy!

*For a extra special touch mix up a Tapenade: some fresh chopped tomato, garlic, and basil, calamata olives, capers, and olive oil, pulse it in the food processor with fresh cracked pepper to taste, serve on the side.
* Beware, who ever you serve this to may want to stay for seconds!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2009