This classic and comforting casserole will become your new side dish staple, enjoyed during the holiday season or throughout the year. From the crisp and cheesy top to the soft texture of the eggs and bread underneath, this Croque Madam Strata recipe is a guaranteed show-stopper.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
- 12 eggs2 tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) grated nutmeg
- 2 cups (500 mL) whole milk
- 1 cup (250 mL) coffee cream
- 8 ounces (225 g) cooked ham, diced
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) Oka cheese, grated
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) white cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh parsley, chopped1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (3 mL) black pepper1 French style baguette or loaf (approx. 14 ounces)
Step 1: In a non-stick pan, fry the sliced onions in the olive oil and butter over medium heat until lightly caramelized, stirring frequently (approximately 8 to 10 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Step 2: Combine the eggs, Dijon mustard, and nutmeg, in a large mixing bowl and beat slightly until the mustard is mixed in thoroughly. In the same bowl, add the milk and coffee cream and beat well to form the base of the custard. To that mixture, fold in the cooked ham, cheese (reserving ¼cup of each for the topping), parsley, salt, and black pepper.
Step 3: In a second large bowl, tear the bread into small chunks about 1 to 1 ½ inches (2.54 cm – 3.81cm) in size.
Step 4: Pour the custard over the top of the bread and mix well. *Allow it to soak overnight if you can or, for an hour at least.
Step 5: Prepare a 9 x 13 inch (22.86 x 33 cm) casserole dish by coating it with a bit of butter or oil. Fillwith the mixture and spread it out evenly.
Step 6: Sprinkle the caramelized onions and the remaining cheese on top.
Step 7: Bake in a 350° F (180° C) oven for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is golden brown and the center has risen slightly. You can test the center by inserting a knife and checking that it comes out clean.
*If prepping overnight: Pop the casserole in the oven the next morning and bake it as directed. Alternatively, the casserole can be prepared a day or two in advance and warmed in a low 300°F (160°C) oven for an hour before serving.
Step 8: Rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving