When Little Mommies told me she would be making a “strata” for Hanukkah, I assumed that it would be some form of a multilayered cake and I was excited. Then when she told me that a strata was an egg dish filled with cheese, I was even more excited. Then, when she told me she was going to put in pancetta as well, I cried. Wept like a little baby. Well not really, however, I did make fun of Rico for about an hour that he was missing Hanukkah brunch due to prior engagements and that he would miss this cheesy, pork creation. I hope he still loves me.
- 6 ounces pancetta, diced
- 12 slices firm white bread
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1 pound shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 8 eggs
- 3 ½ cups milk
- 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Pepper to taste
Butter a 3 quart rectangular (approximately 9 x 13 inches) baking dish.
In frying pan, sauté pancetta until brown and fat is rendered. Drain on paper towels.
Cut bread into 3/4 inch cubes. Place in prepared baking dish. Add scallions, pancetta and cheeses. With hands, mix well to evenly distribute ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs together; add milk, Tabasco, mustard, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over all in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight (up to 24 hours).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until strata is puffy and brown. Serves 8 to 10.
The lady of the house made two, one with and one without pancetta. I liked them both. See that spoon in the plain cheese one? That’s because my uncle promptly stole a bread cube with his fingers before we could take a picture. Little Mommies and I went a little crazy. You think I’m cranky? You should see the two of us angry, together, involving food, pictures, and manners. The pain, suffering and noisy reactions were similar to the sound that comes out of a small dog when you step on its tail by mistake. Exactly.