Baked cheese and eggs dish

Easter egg bake

This delicious egg cassarole is easier than a quiche and twice as tasty. It sometimes goes by the name “Strata”, probably because it is a layered approach to eggy goodness. But as Shakespeare once noted, “a rose by any other name is just as sweet.”

I usually make it for a festive breakfast dish at Easter, or for company any time, because you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge till morning. Then pop it in the oven as soon as you get up for a wonderful breakfast treat in an hour’s time. That’s right, it takes an hour to bake. So be sure to figure that into your schedule.

You can make this with any kind of cheese, but my favorite features a brie – specifically a goats’ cheese brie.

You can also make it with any kind of bread. I’ve made it with whole wheat, egg bread, and crusty French bread. But my favorite by far is with whole-wheat croissants.

This recipe is just as good without the asparagus. But I love breakfasts that feature eggs AND vegetables, so for best nutrition I make a point to include them. Also, the herbs can be anything you have on hand or prefer.

Finally, you can cut the recipe in half for two or three people, but be sure to use a smaller baking dish.

Easter egg bake

The sliced ham rises when the liquid egg mixture is added – how suitable for Easter Monday!

Baked cheese and egg dish
Serves 6

  • 1 soft-ripened goats’ cheese brie (made from pasteurized goats’ milk, about 165 grams, put in freezer for 30 minutes)
  • 3 large whole-wheat croissants
  • 6 oz thin asparagus, with tough stems broken off and sliced in half then quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon in total of herbes de Provence (rosemary, thyme, and oregano)
  • 3 or 4 ounces of smoked ham or sausage, sliced and chopped thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk (or replace some of the milk with yogurt or sour cream)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt or Tex Mex spice mix
  1. Plunge asparagus in boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Then drain and pat dry.
  2. Slice each croissant in half. Line a well-oiled 1 1/2-litre oven-proof baking dish with three or four of the slices. Break the remaining slices into bite-sized pieces and reserve.
  3. Slice the heavy rind off the well-chilled brie. Then thinly slice the brie and arrange on the croissant slices.
  4. Sprinkle with half the tarragon and herbs mixture. Spread half the ham and asparagus over the herbs. Top with the croissant pieces and press down hard. Finish with the remaining ham, asparagus, and herbs on top.
  5. Wisk the eggs with the mustard, milk and salt. Gradually pour the liquid evenly over the layered croissants until it’s absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Remove the plastic wrap and put the cold strata in the oven. Cover with a piece of tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking for 30 minutes more, or until the strata is puffed and golden and the centre seems set when jiggled. Let strata sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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