Inspired by spending a few too many nights in Munich's beer halls, this brunch casserole is perfect for those of us who like to plan ahead for the morning after a long night at the bar. It's a hearty strata inspired by dish commonly found in beer halls throughout Germany called kaese spaetzle. Traditionally, kaese spaetzle is a dish of delicate spaetzle (small dumplings) tossed with onions and emmantaler cheese, and baked until bubbling. This strata removes the spaetzle and replaces it with baguette, and adds a few bits of bacon.
If you have truly outdone yourself at the bar, you may consider reaching for a cold glass of beer to go along with this substantial casserole. A glass of beer, a heap of cheese- and bacon-studded casserole, and a big green salad later, you'll feel ready once again to tackle the world in no time flat.
- Yield:Serves 4 (or 6 as a side)
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:1 hour (plus overnight in the fridge)
- 1 (1 pound) baguette, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 small onions, finely sliced (about 3 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup sour cream
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400°F. Place cut up baguette on a sheet tray and back until bread begins to crisp but has not browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl.
Heat butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until melted then add sliced onions. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until onion are evenly browned and begin to taste sweet, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss with dried bread.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is cooked, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Add cooked bacon and cheese to bread mixture.
Butter an 8- by 11-inch baking dish with remaining butter and add bread mixture. Combine milk, eggs, and sour cream in a bowl and beat until combined. Season with salt and pepper then pour over bread. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
The following day adjust rack to middle position and preheat to 375°F, bake strata until browned and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately.