Brunch at Home: Breakfast Lorraine Strata

For this new “Brunches at Home” vein of posts I wanted to showcase how I enjoy brunch is a somewhat more personal and often more frugal way in our home. I like to cook and entertain, but am also lucky to have some great people invite me into their special weekend brunches. So I hope these posts will be a snippet of that portion of the brunches I love, with some entertaining tips and recipes to boot.

Like most twenty-something ladies on the interwebs, Pinterest is one of my greatest vices. I can sit and scroll and pin for hours a couple hundred ideas of which only ten may become useful to me one day. Occasionally though it does serve it’s purpose and I’m happy to find a little treat or craft I love and rave about.

This strata is one that not only do I enjoy, but almost everybody else does too. Especially hubby, who gets it as a treat on special occasions.

Breakfast Lorrain Strata may not be the prettiest, but it tastes amazing!
Breakfast Lorrain Strata may not be the prettiest, but it tastes amazing!

I first surprised hubby with this on a Valentine’s Day, maybe two years ago, while we living in separate places because he had just gotten a new job but we had yet to sell our condo. The six months we did this made our weekend times together precious, so I usually tried to devote some of my weekdays to cooking/prepping extra food to eat on the weekends or send hubby back home with. This Strata was one of those great recipes because 1. I could make it ahead of time 2. there was a lot and it was 3. easy to send back with hubby and of course 4. it didn’t really have anything my picky-eater hubby didn’t like.

The brilliant Breakfast Lorraine Strata turned out bubbly, bread-y, cheesy and delicious, but the best part to me is still how easy it can be. I usually break up the steps onto different days or over a couple hours the night before so I can watch my shows as I tear bread or chop tomatoes and onions. Having all my mise en place set before I cook just seems to smooth out a lot of cooking kinks as well. I do also find that prechopped ham and pre shredded cheese can save me a good bit of time as well. Sometimes (when its not a special occasion for him) I also put hubby to work on tasks such as cracking eggs.

In all fairness I do love to cook, and have slowly worked on my skills, but if you are looking for a medium level breakfast casserole to challenge yourself, this Strata certainly won’t hurt. As I said almost everyone else also likes it, which always makes a recipe a little easier to try. I have made it for company when they come to visit, for work pitch-ins and even holiday get togethers and the Strata never fails me.

I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it with some great people. Until next time keep eating and drinking well with those you love.

Today’s Recipe: Breakfast Lorraine Strata

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 85 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. (500 g) spinach
  • 1 1/2-lb. (750-g) loaf sweet batard, crusts removed, bread cut
    into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares and toasted until dry (about 9
  • 8 oz. (250 g) ham, diced
  • 6 oz. (185 g) Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) half-and-half


In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add half of the spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. olive oil and spinach. Using a rubber spatula, press out the excess moisture.

In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, the caramelized onion, spinach, ham and cheese. Transfer to a 4-quart (4-l) baking dish. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, the 1 tsp. salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over the bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 16 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is browned and the strata is cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes more. Serves 12.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

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