Ham and Cheese Strata
A classic brunch dish, this strata is a snap to prepare, smells heavenly when cooking, and tastes equally divine. It’s a substantial dish, so don’t hesitate to make it for dinner, too!
Yield: 6 servings
1 tablespoon butter
8 slices low-carb white bread, crusts removed and saved, and square centers divided into 16 triangles, staled (cut up and leave out overnight, or toast briefly in a 250-degree oven)
6 ounces sliced deli ham, roughly chopped
8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
2 tablespoons dried minced onions, divided
3-1/4 cups half-and-half cream (1/2 milk, 1/2 cream)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (about 2 shakes)
Grease the slow cooker crock with the butter (leave excess in the crock). Place 8 of the bread triangles into the bottom of the slow cooker; sprinkle in the trimmed-off crusts so that the bottom of the slow cooker is covered with bread.
Add the ham, sprinkling it over the bread to make a thick layer, then add all but 1/2 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the onions over the cheese; top with remaining 8 bread triangles and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce; whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread triangles, then sprinkle with remaining onions. Let mixture sit 15 minutes, then sprinkle on reserved 1/2 cup of cheese.
Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Remove the slow cooker lid and let the strata rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Approximate nutritional content:
Calories: 552, Protein: 34g, Net Carbs: 13g, Fat: 39g, Cholesterol: 316mg, Sodium: 914mg
Cook’s Tip: This recipe is easily adjusted to suit your tastes. Try using cooked chicken, smoked turkey, crabmeat, or salad shrimp instead of the ham. You could also include chopped vegetables such as a little blanched broccoli.