Ham & Broccoli Strata with Smoked Cheddar ~ Easy Breakfast Casserole with delicious ham, broccoli, and smoked cheddar in a luscious egg batter.
Easily made the night before and ready to be tossed in the oven while the morning festivities are under way, and ready when all the gifts are open.As a kid, my holidays were pretty routine. If it was my mom’s year, we woke early-ish, opened presents and my dad picked me up by 10 am. From there we went back to his house and did gifts before going to my grandparents. Once they moved further east, then we went straight to my grandparents.
If it was my dad’s year, we had a HUGE Christmas Eve party that Mom2 always did up right. Then we had presents EARLY in the morning, then Mom 2 made the most amazing breakfast that could rival any Vegas buffet, then I was returned to my mom’s place by 10 am. Once I got home there, we did presents then went to my maternal grandparents for dinner and then over to my stepdad’s parent’s place.
As an adult, my structure and routine is anything but structured and routine. When I married, our years varied between traveling to California, traveling to visit his family, and then just being at home. One thing I started doing was making the big meal on Christmas Eve and then like Mom2, a massive Christmas morning breakfast, that way the rest of the time I could relax and enjoy the day versus being in the kitchen.However, since the divorce, it’s been all over the place. Some years, Elizabeth and I have gone to California, but typically we’re here. I try to stay local so Elizabeth can have equal access to both her dad and myself. I don’t always cook on Christmas Eve either. Lately, I have gone to a friend’s home. But one thing that has remained is the big Christmas morning breakfast.
For the last several years, I’ve hosted Christmas Breakfast, which is really more like brunch and probably closer to lunch, but that’s just semantics. Family and close friends (who are pretty much family) come over, each bringing a small side dish or breakfast item and I prepare the main courses. It varies from year to year. I’ve made pancakes with everything you can think of to stuff them with. I’ve done omelet stations. I’ve made the big country breakfast with biscuits and gravy, eggs, fried potatoes, bacon, and sausage.
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When I started to think about my breakfast this year, I turned to Matthew for suggestions. He shared with me his Christmas breakfast tradition.
Of course, I had to steal it. The man is full of great food ideas.
I took off to the store to get inspiration. Yes, I am one of those who loves to grocery shop and gets ideas merely by wandering up and down the aisles. There I spotted it. Glittering under the industrial lights wrapped in faux netting in the Walmart meat bin, a Hormel Cure 81 Bone-In Ham. Yes, this baby was going to be mine. I picked up the Cherrywood flavor as I am a sucker for any savory items with a sweet side.
Ham & Broccoli Strata with Smoked Cheddar
- 1 loaf bread; crusts removed
- 2 cups cooked cubed ham
- 3 cups smoked cheddar cheese; grated divided 2/1
- 10 oz package frozen broccoli
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp honey Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt; to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper; to taste
- Butter/oil/cooking spray
Grease a 9x13 pan.
Place bread in the bottom of the pan, pressing it in to flatten it. You may need to cut slices to fill in gaps/holes.
In a bowl, toss 2 cups of cheese, the broccoli, and ham together and layer over the pressed bread in the pan.
Cover the filling with the remaining slices of bread, again cutting slices to fill in any gaps or holes. Press down.
In the same bowl as the tossed filling, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, and seasonings.
Pour over the bread as evenly as possible.
Using a spoon, press the top of the strata down to makes sure it becomes saturated with the egg/milk mixture.
Cover and chill for at least 3 hours to overnight.
When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350° and remove the strata from the refrigerator and allow to warm up to room temp.
Remove the cover and bake uncovered for 40 minutes, but begin checking at 35, and it could cook as long as an hour, depending on your oven.
Once the liquid has been mostly absorbed, the strata is almost firm, and the top is nearing golden brown, sprinkle the remaining one cup of cheese over the top and continue to bake until the cheese has melted over the top and the strata is firm.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
This Hormel Cure 81 Bone-In ham was absolutely perfect for this strata. Being spiral cut, I just had to pull off the pre-sliced pieces and dice them up. You really can’t get easier than that, except maybe having someone dice it for you. Of course there was more ham on the bone than I needed to make these stratas, but worry not, I have plenty of guests who just want to eat the ham…I might be one of them too.
I rarely eat broccoli in breakfast dishes, but you know, I think I just might start finding ways to incorporate it more. The cheese doesn’t really need much said about it, I mean it’s smoked cheddar, so basically YUM should suffice.
Thanks Matthew for letting me steal your breakfast tradition. It just might become the tradition around here due to how incredibly easy this is to make and what a time saver it is in the morning, giving me more time to spend with my guests and more importantly, with Elizabeth.
Outside this I ended up with Ham and Broccoli Strata with Smoked Cheddar, how can you incorporate Hormel Cure 81 Bone-In hams into your holiday entertaining? Walmart has both Cherrywood flavor and regular.