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OVERNIGHT 14 EGG, BACON, SPINACH AND TOMATO STRATA WITH 2 CHEESES

Ingredients

1 loaf Italian bread or 2 loaves French bread (1 pound)

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1, large red bell pepper, chopped

1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and chopped into bite size pieces

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

1, 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves

1, 5.2-ounce package Boursin garlic and herb soft cheese (place in freezer for 10-20 minutes before preparing casserole which will help keep it from sticking to your fingers)

2 cups Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese, shredded

14 Eggland’s Best extra-large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bread into 2” cubes and spread them on a baking sheet.  Toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the bread is toasty but still soft in the center.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large deep skillet and sauté the onion and red bell pepper over medium high heat until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add the chopped bacon, tomatoes, and spinach leaves and cook, tossing, for one minute until the spinach leaves are just barely wilted.  Turn off the heat.

Spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with non-stick spray and spread the toasted bread in the bottom of the pan.  Top evenly with the bacon and spinach mixture.  Crumble the herb cheese evenly over the top, slightly pressing it into the casserole.  Spread the shredded cheese over the top.

Combine 8 of the eggs, milk, cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk until well combined.  Pour This mixture evenly over the top of the casserole and press everything down with your hands to ensure that the bread is all covered with the egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the casserole for 40 minutes and remove from oven.  Using the back of a spoon, push the casserole ingredients aside to create 6 evenly spaced cavities in the top of the casserole, about 3” wide and deep.  Crack one of the remaining eggs into each cavity.  Place it back in the oven and back for an additional 12-15 minutes until the egg whites are set (but yolks are still runny) and the liquid in the bread has all been absorbed and is set.

Cut into squares and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.  Pour a mimosa and dig in!

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