We love the flavor and layered look of this strata, with paper-thin prosciutto providing a mere but welcome hint of salt. It's a perfect make-ahead dish for brunch.
4 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 cup (4 ounces) very thin slices prosciutto or ham, chopped
1/3 cup water
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) carton egg substitute
8 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread (about 9 ounces)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyère, Jarlsberg, or Swiss cheese
How to Make It
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and prosciutto, and sauté 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add water; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer 30 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Cool.
Combine the milk, mustard, pepper, and egg substitute in a large bowl, and stir with a whisk until mixture is well-blended. Stir in the onion mixture. Add bread, tossing gently to coat.
Arrange half of the bread mixture in a single layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, and top with remaining bread mixture. Cover strata, and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover strata. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese; bake an additional 20 minutes or until set.
2013 reviewer is correct--don't get soggy proscuitto or other meat (I used bacon). Just crisp it quickly and add it in with the milk and eggs. I've made this otherwise just as written, but today I made it with leftover everything bagels, havarti dill cheese, bacon, and a mix of vidalia and red onions. Either way it's good! Please use only certified humanely raised pork.
This recipe completely destroyed the prosciutto. The recipe calls to add the prosciutto and then continue to cook it with the onions for half an hour - cooking the prosciutto through and making it a gummy gray mess! If you're going to make this I would suggest mixing the prosciutto in right before baking it so it maintains it's color and some it's consistency.
This was excellent - made it as a side for Easter dinner and it was a big hit with all. Pricey though! The dish cost around $15 because of the gruyere and prosciutto. I worried the onion flavor would be overpowering, but it was just right - similar to French onion soup.