French Baguette Strata

I like to prepare a special breakfast on Christmas morning, and this year I decided to make a strata. I used a day-old French baguette (the thin kind) that I had found on the half-price rack at the store, so this recipe starts out very budget-friendly. I used some leftover Christmas eve ham and then matched it with nutty Swiss cheese and sweet scallions. The secret ingredient in this strata is a little Dijon mustard, which might sound odd in combination with eggs, but what it really adds is spice and lightens what could be a heavy dish. I did try and keep this recipe lean by using reduced fat cheese and egg whites.

What I love about this strata is that it really embodies what the word means: layers. You have layers of pink ham, green scallions, off-white cheese, yellow eggs and the cheesy, crispy, browned bread and cheese layer. If you are having a brunch, this recipe is ideal because it cuts down on the prep work you'll need to do the morning of the brunch.

French Baguette Strata

4 eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz lean ham, cut into tiny cubes
2 scallions, sliced
4 oz reduced fat Swiss cheese
8 oz day-old French baguette (about 16 1/4-inch slices)
salt and pepper, to taste
non-stick cooking spray

1. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites, milk, mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
2. Spray a 1.5-quart shallow baking pan with non-stick spray. Layer the ham, scallion, and 3/4 of the cheese. Arrange the bread slices decoratively on top, then pour the egg mixture over, allowing each piece of bread to be coated with the egg mixture. Press each piece of bread down into the pan to allow it to soak up some egg. Top the bread with the remaining cheese.
3. Cover the strata and set the strata in the refrigerator overnight. If you have time, press the bread down into the egg mixture at least one more time while the strata marinates.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the strata in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the egg is set and the top is browned. Allow the strata to cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Servings per recipe: 4
Per serving:
Calories: 362
Fat: 11.7 g
Saturated fat: 4.5 g
Cholesterol: 213 mg
Sodium: 838 mg
Carbohydrates: 35.5 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 31.3 g

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