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Monday, March 23, 2009

Overnight Asparagus Strata

This hearty, versatile dish is great served for breakfast, lunch, or supper. I love the flavors and make-ahead ease. This is a tasty way to sneak veggies into the kids. Throw in whatever your family likes, what's on sale, or what's in your fridge that day. Give it a healthy makeover without sacrificing flavor by using whole wheat muffins, skim milk, reduced fat cheese, and even turkey bacon/ sausage if you like.
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 English muffins, split and toasted
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice cold water. Drain and pat dry.

Arrange eight English muffin halves, cut side up in a greased 9x13-in. baking dish. Fill in spaces with remaining muffin halves. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese, asparagus, ham, and red pepper. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, mustard, and pepper; pour over muffins. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 6-8 servings.
(Recipe from Taste of Home April/May 2004)

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