I told you I've been going a little egg-crazy since Caroline outgrew her allergy. And this particular dish has made several appearances on our breakfast, lunch, and dinner table. It's a super simple recipe that comes together quite quickly. Onions are quickly sautéed in some butter, then bread cubes are toasted in the skillet as well. A mixture of eggs, milk, some spices, thyme, and cheese is poured over the bread cubes, then you transfer the pan to the oven and it bakes up into a beautiful and delicious strata. The sharp cheddar, buttery bread, and fresh thyme combine to create a dish that's definitely greater than the sum of it's parts. Any dish that can be made with pantry staples and is immediately inhaled by everyone at the table is a true winner in my book!
Another bonus? It's infinitely adaptable. Add some bacon or sausage (or any meat, really). Amp up the nutritional value by adding veggies - spinach and zucchini would be especially great. Change up the cheeses. Play around with the seasonings and spices.... The sky's the limit here. It's a great recipe to use up random ingredients in your fridge. And as if you need another reason to make it, the leftovers reheat beautifully, so you can make this over the weekend and then reheat individual portions throughout the week for an easy breakfast.
Skillet Strata with Cheddar and Thyme
adapted from America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
- pinch of cayenne
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups of 1-inch bread cubes (about 5 slices sandwich bread)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Whisk the eggs, milk, and cheddar together in a medium bowl.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch ovensafe nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to coat, then add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, 4-6 minutes.
Stir in the bread, thyme, cayenne, mustard, and garlic, and toss to coat the bread with the butter. Cook until the bread cubes are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and fold in the egg mixture until well-combined with the bread. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are browned, the center of the strata is puffed, and the edges are pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan. Serve.