Sweet Potato & Sausage Strata

EatingWell - - FRESH | INK -

AC­TIVE: 45 min TO­TAL: 3 hrs

TO MAKE AHEAD: Pre­pare through Step 6 and re­frig­er­ate for up 1 day. Let stand at room tem­per­a­ture while oven pre­heats be­fore bak­ing (Steps 7-8).

A strata, es­pe­cially this one that can be pre­pared the day be­fore, is a bril­liant idea for feed­ing a house full of hol­i­day guests. Hot Ital­ian sausage bal­ances the sweet­ness of the pota­toes and gives this break­fast casse­role a kick.

4 cups diced sweet potato (1-inch cubes) 4 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter, di­vided

1 ta­ble­spoon ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

8 ounces hot Ital­ian sausage,

cas­ing re­moved

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pep­per, diced

3 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped

1 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds, crushed

4 cups packed chopped kale

1 tea­spoon kosher salt

6 cups cubed hearty whole-wheat bread

(about 8 ounces; 1-inch cubes)

10 large eggs

3½ cups re­duced-fat milk

¾ cup shred­ded Ched­dar cheese

1. Coat a 9-by-13-inch bak­ing dish with cooking spray.

2. Com­bine sweet pota­toes and 2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter in a medium mi­crowave-safe bowl. Cover and mi­crowave on High un­til just ten­der, 3 to 5 min­utes. Drain any re­main­ing wa­ter.

3. Heat oil in a large skil­let over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally and crum­bling with a wooden spoon, un­til cooked through, about 5 min­utes. Us­ing a slot­ted spoon, trans­fer the sausage to a plate.

4. Add onion to the pan and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft and start­ing to brown, 5 to 8 min­utes. Add bell pep­per and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft, 2 to 4 min­utes. Add gar­lic and fen­nel seeds and cook, stir­ring, for 1 minute. Add kale and the re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter; cook un­til wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potato, the sausage and salt. Re­move from heat.

5. Spread half the sweet potato mix­ture in the pre­pared bak­ing dish. Top with 3 cups bread. Re­peat with the re­main­ing sweet potato mix­ture and bread.

6. Lightly whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and gently whisk to mix. Pour the egg mix­ture evenly over the casse­role and press the bread down into the cus­tard with the back of a spoon. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the strata. Re­frig­er­ate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

7. Pre­heat oven to 350°F.

8. Bake the strata, cov­ered, for 30 min­utes. Un­cover and sprin­kle with cheese. Bake, un­cov­ered, un­til the cus­tard is set and the cheese is melted, 30 to 40 min­utes more.

Let stand for 15 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

SERVES 12: 1 cup each


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