24-Hour “Omelet” with Pepper Jack and Chipotle Chiles
This homey casserole has little to do with a traditional folded or rolled omelet. Instead, it’s an eggy casserole thickened with bread and enriched with cheese. It’s designed to be assembled the night before and popped into the oven the next morning to bake away as the coffee brews.
Why This Recipe Works
For an egg-based strata recipe, we wanted the bread to virtually melt into the custard, so we ruled out rustic loaves with heavy crusts and anything that was very chewy. Hearty white sandwich breads were the most promising and Pepperidge Farm Hearty White bread proved to be the best of the bunch, as it possesses a deeply wheaty, slightly yeasty flavor and just enough texture to not completely dissolve in the custard overnight. Considering the dish is called an “omelet,” we wanted to make sure it had a potently eggy flavor, so we experimented with different ratios of eggs to dairy until we found what delivered the best texture. Smooth-melting, high-moisture cheese like Monterey Jack fared best in our strata recipe; drier options, like extra-sharp cheddar, “broke,” rendering the dish greasy.