VALENTINE'S DAY BREAKFAST-IN-BED EGG STRATA
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active), plus resting time
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 slices white sandwich bread, cubed
1 pound sage breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, salt, mustard, nutmeg and white pepper.
In the prepared baking dish, layer half each of the bread, sausage, cheese and scallions, then repeat using the remaining ingredients to create a second layer of each. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layers, gently pressing with a fork to make sure all of the ingredients are submerged.
Cover the baking dish with foil, crimping the edges tight. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to overnight (longer is better).
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 F. Uncover and bake the strata for 1 hour, or until puffy and a knife inserted at the center comes out clean.
Nutrition information per serving: 510 calories; 310 calories from fat (61 percent of total calories); 35 g fat (12 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 375 mg cholesterol; 15g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 31 g protein; 1,060 mg sodium.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Elizabeth Karmel is a grilling and Southern foods expert and executive chef at Hill Country Barbecue Market restaurants in New York and Washington, as well as Hill Country Chicken in New York. She is the author of three cookbooks, including "Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned."