Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stuffed French Toast Strata

A question: what is the best part of coming home to one's parents' house after being away for a while? An answer: mom's cooking!  Another question: what is an extra special treat during such visits, even among mom's cooking? Another answer: stuffed french toast! 

Stuffed french toast is pretty easy to make, just like regular french toast.  We've normally had it with french bread sliced double-thick and sliced halfway through in the middle of each double-thick slice (see here for an example)--but it works with regular bread, too, and we've even made the sausage-and-swiss style from the link above as just a french toast-grilled-cheese sandwich.  But then we thought, "wouldn't it also be great in a strata?" And we're happy to report that it is, indeed, great in a strata.

Start by browning up some ground meat to make some breakfast sausage.  For 1 lb ground venison, we seasoned it with about a half-teaspoon each of salt, and pepper, and one teaspoon each of garlic powder, caraway seeds, and ground sage.

When the meat is cooked through and tastes like the type of breakfast sausage you want, make layers like the picture shows, in a 9 x 13" pan.  A couple of differences between this strata and our other recipes: this one doesn't have vegetables in it, so you'll have to get them in a side dish.  (Don't skip them!  Remember, this is mom's meal plan we're emulating.)  Or maybe make an omelet to go with it or something.  Also, we're not normally picky about what kind of cheese we use in the strata, but this one's gotta have Swiss cheese.

Add a second set of bread-meat-cheese layers, then pour a mixture of six eggs, three cups milk, and one teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning (beaten together) over it.  The seasonings in the egg mixture could also be more traditional french toast spices, like vanilla and cinnamon, but we decided to match the sausage flavor instead.  Doesn't matter, we'll still eat it with syrup like Buddy the Elf.

Set it in the fridge to chill out for a while.

Then bake at 350 °F for 50-55 min until it looks something like this.

Look at those layers! Time for the syrup! Good stuff, Maynard.  House rules: when an entree is topped with real maple syrup, the plate must be licked clean.  No exceptions!

What do you stuff your french toast with?  Let us know in the comments section below!

The recipe:
~1 lb ground venison
 0.5 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, caraway seed, and ground sage

10 slices of bread (at least)
1 lb shredded Swiss cheese

6 eggs
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

Brown the ground venison in a frying pan over medium heat, seasoning with garlic powder, caraway, sage, salt and pepper to taste (suggestions above).  The amount of ground meat can be adjusted, too--1 lb gives a two scant layers in the strata, two lbs. makes a very meaty strata.  Layer the bread, browned meat, and cheese in a 9" x 13" pan, starting with bread and ending with cheese, aiming for two layers each. Beat together eggs, milk, and remaining seasonings. Pour over layers and set in fridge for several hours or overnight. Bake at 350 °F for 50-55 min. Allow to cool and smother with real maple syrup.  Remember to lick the plate afterward.


  1. Looking around your blog (nice one by the way) and found this post. My grandmother used to make a strata and I'd forgotten all about it! Very nice to be reminded in this post and yours looks delicious.

    1. Thanks, Leigh! Strata has definitely become a tradition for us. Good to hear other folks enjoy them, too. What kind did your grandmother make?

      (and sorry to be so slow in responding to your comment!)