I'm a little too familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of walking into the kitchen after 5 pm, aware that the fridge is mostly empty and possessed of no earthly idea what we will be eating for dinner. It seems to happen more frequently when I'm pregnant, possibly because there are so many times when eating simply doesn't sound like something I want to do. This happened again just the other night, but I'm happy to report that it had a very successful outcome.
The only meat thawed was a quarter of a rope of smoked sausage. The only other inhabitants of the fridge were half an onion, a tomato, some fruit, assorted condiments, and eggs. Fortunately, eggs were on sale last week, and we still had several dozen of them. We also had two large, slightly stale, sandwich rolls: the perfect foundation for a strata.
Dinner was in the oven within a half hour, I got to feel like I'd made "real" food, and we had lovely leftover strata to heat up and enjoy for breakfasts for the rest of the week! Strata is such a wonderful way to take advantage of little leftover odds and ends while still providing a filling meal. You could certainly substitute similar quantities of other leftovers into this recipe to replace any of the ingredients except for the eggs, milk, and bread.
Sausage Tomato Strata
6 c bread, cubed (2 large rolls, 4-6 slices of bread)
1/4 link cooked sausage, diced
1 large tomato, diced (or 15 oz diced tomatoes)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 to 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded*
8 to 10 eggs, beaten
1.5 to 2.5 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a 9x13 pan, layer half of the bread cubes, sausage, tomato, onion, and cheese; repeat. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper. (Use more milk if fewer eggs; less milk if more eggs). Pour egg mixture into pan, covering the layered ingredients. Press down if necessary to ensure coverage. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes; allow to sit 5 minutes before cutting.
*A bag of shredded mozzarella lives in our freezer at all times; it is SO helpful to be able to pull it out in a pinch!