8 frozen multigrain waffles, thawed
3-4 slices crusty white bread, torn into bite sized pieces, stale and dried
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14 slices (about ¾ pound) pancetta
1 medium red pepper, seeded, cut into medium dice
1 medium sweet onion, peeled, cut into medium dice
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies, drained
1½ cups coarsely grated Chalet Landhaus Inn Alpine style cheese
1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
20-24 eggs, beaten
Spray a 9-by-11-by-3-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
Thaw the waffles; tear into pieces and allow to get stale.
In a skillet, cook the pancetta until not quite crisp, cut into bite sized pieces.
Line the bottom of the dish with the white bread pieces.
Then sprinkle half of the pancetta, peppers, onions, mushrooms and 1 can chilies. Toss the cheeses together in a large bowl; sprinkle half over the bread and vegetables.
Spread most of the waffle pieces for the next layer leaving a good handful of waffle pieces for the top layer. Repeat another layer with remaining pancetta, peppers, onions, mushrooms, the other can of chilies and cheese over the waffles. Then take the remaining waffle pieces and carefully place them on top. They do not need to cover completely, just spread around evenly.
Gently pour the beaten eggs over the entire casserole, making sure to get the eggs into all the nooks and crannies, and slowly absorb into the dish until egg reaches the top. Then gently press the top pieces of waffle into the egg mixture, making sure the waffles are mushy and covered in egg. Cover the strata casserole in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
The next morning, take strata from refrigerator, remove plastic wrap and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place strata on middle rack for 1 hour, 10 minutes. Then check to make sure the middle of strata is firm. Knife should go in middle and come out clean. Otherwise bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. When done, allow to set for 10 minutes before cutting into portions to serve. Garnish the top of each slice with fresh chopped chives. Serve with pico de gallo or salsa and fresh fruit on the side.
Cooks note: This dish needs to be prepped the night before it bakes to allow the egg to penetrate through and through. Make sure bread and waffles are adequately stale to ensure absorption of egg. Pancetta needs to be cooked shy of crisp so it will have desirable texture in the end. To get a great rise out of the strata, and allow room for all ingredients the casserole dish needs to be 3 inches deep. Using a crusty white bread on the bottom layer is important to get a crust with a pleasing chew. Instead of salsa, you could drizzle maple syrup over the top.