1 and 1/2 pounds Ground Beef
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
2 cups milk
5 large eggs
8 cups crustless bread cubes (3/4 – inch)
2 cups shredded Asiago or Fontina cheese
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
Thinly sliced fresh basil
Heat oven to 350°F. Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 – 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Remove from skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside. Pour off drippings from skillet.
Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook 3 – 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Return beef to skillet. Add thyme and cook 3 – 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Whisk milk, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl until blended.
Spray 2 and 1/2 to 3 – quart shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer half of bread cubes, 1/2 cup of cheese and half of beef mixture in dish. Pour half of egg mixture over top. Top with remaining bread cubes, 1/2 cup cheese and remaining beef and egg mixtures. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Press any dry bread cubes into egg mixture. Cover with aluminum foil; refrigerate 6 hours or as long as overnight.
Bake strata, covered with foil, for 55 minutes. Remove foil. Bake, uncovered, 10 – 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Top with tomatoes and basil, as desired.
Day-old or stale, good-quality crusty bread, such as French, Italian or sourdough, is recommended for this recipe. Two cups shredded Italian cheese blend may be substituted for Asiago or Fontina cheese.
Nutrition information per serving: 604 calories; 35 g fat (14 g saturated fat; 10 g monounsaturated fat); 285 mg cholesterol; 1205 mg sodium; 30 g carbohydrate; 2.7 g fiber; 41 g protein; 7.6 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 3.0 mcg vitamin B12; 5.2 mg iron; 41.7 mcg selenium; 6.4 mg zinc.