Trying to curb my food waste with this Ham and Cheese Strata. It’s made with leftover garlic knots from the pizzeria, but any leftover bread would work perfectly!
We order pizza (and other things) from the local delivery pizza parlor. We order enough to qualify for the free garlic knots. They’re just bits of pizza dough that are rolled in butter, garlic, and Parmesan and baked. They’re good. SO good. If you’re a crust person like myself, you will LOVE these.
Anyway, we qualify for them. There’s 12 in an order. WAY too many for us to eat after devouring pizza and boneless wings. This means that, on average, there’s 8 or 9 left. And, well, you know me I hate to throw perfectly good food away. I get the stink eye from the hubs every now and then on that one, but it’s one of my goals to have less food waste. Bottom line.
So, I usually stick them in the fridge with any leftover wings that we might have. On occasion, I have made a Buffalo chicken Caesar from those wings. SO, they can still serve a purpose. They could also make for a delicious sandwich or even quesadillas! You see how my mind words? Just, no food waste Mkay?
Every time I save the knots I think, I could make these into a strata or a savory bread pudding. That would be fabulous! So, that’s just what I did. I took those scrumptious garlic knots and submerged them in delicious egg custard and baked it. And we ate it for Christmas breakfast. It was delicious!! I even took a piece for lunch the next day, that’s how good it is!!
My father likes to share what he makes at home. It’s funny. I love seeing his pictures in my text messages. I get most of my dinner creative genes from him. He’s always whipping something up.
He asked me what we had for breakfast on Christmas. Did we have the quiche like we usually do? I told him no, we were having the strata. What’s a strata? It’s like a savory bread pudding. Well, why didn’t you just call it a savory bread pudding, then? Because that’s not what’s called; it’s called a strata.
The hubs just shrugged. He doesn’t know why it’s called that either. S is a go with the flow kind of guy when I’m cooking stuff up in the kitchen. I love that he’s so easy going with some of the creations I’ve made. Very rarely has he said to never make something again. And when he does, I would have to agree with him. #cassoufail
Now, my father was also questioning the seasonings. Garlic knots? Yes. With garlic in them? Yes. So garlic and eggs and bread? And other spices. It wasn’t all garlic all the time, Dad. What? You don’t like garlic and eggs together? No, it’s not that, but a lot of garlic and eggs just doesn’t sound good to me. Well, this dish was good, Dad. Not too much garlic flavor, I assure you.
Of course, I’m assuming y’all have left over garlic knots from your pizza parlor. If not, that’s okay. You don’t need pizza dough bites or anything like that. You simply need to have some old bread laying around that’s kind of dry and maybe a little on the stale side? That bread is perfect. It sucks up all that delicious custard with its herbs and spices and makes for a delicious and easy breakfast.
Here’s the genius part of a strata. You ready?
You can make this the night before and refrigerate it overnight. I KNOW!! How awesome is that?? So, on a crazy Christmas eve, just throw this together, put it in the fridge, and pop it out the next morning to make while the kids are opening pressies. Of course that will probably take all of 20 minutes. They’d have to wait at least another 20 or so for this to cook.
That’s where the orange in the stocking could come in handy. Wait, you didn’t know about the orange in the stocking? So, one of stories is that a poor man couldn’t afford the dowry and his daughters could never marry. Yeah, it was WAY back when the fathers would have to pay the husband to marry their daughters.
Anyway. St. Nicholas heard about this man and his dilemma. So, one night, he tossed three sacks of gold down the chimney and they landed in the stockings drying by the fire. Instead of actual sacks of gold, the orange symbolizes wealth prosperity in the new year.
The other story is that it started during The Great Depression when money was super scarce. Getting a orange in your stocking was a treat because they were not easy to come by and very expensive. If you received an orange in your stocking you were lucky!!
While we never got oranges in our stockings, we did get Godiva chocolates to nibble on while Dad made a quiche. And this story is so far removed from the recipe and the reason behind it. Sometimes, the way my mind wanders truly is a mystery.
Have you set any food waste resolutions this year? How to you repurpose leftovers?
Trying to curb my food waste with this Ham and Cheese Strata. It's made with leftover garlic knots from the pizzeria, but any leftover bread would work perfectly!
- 6 cups day old bread, cubed (I used garlic knots from the pizza parlor and some old Italian bread)
- 2 cups diced ham
- 1 cup shredded, cheddar cheese
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Place the bread in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the ham and cheese over the bread and set aside.
- Combine the eggs with the remaining ingredients. Stir with a whisk to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture. Press down on the bread to make sure that it’s submerged in the egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour; overnight is best.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove the strata from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour or until the eggs are set in the center. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.