Potato-Cheese Strata and Bread Pudding with Apple Cider Sauce

POTATO-CHEESE STRATA – brought to you by the Mandolin Inn


Serves 8-12 people    (indicates changes you can make to lower the fat)


½ cup green onions, chopped – optional

2/3 cup milk (I use skim milk)

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce (I use 1+ teaspoons) –or   omit and use oregano and and basil for flavor

2 tablespoons butter (I use lower fat or fat-free   margarine)

1 ½ cup sour cream (I use light or fat free sour   cream)

¼ teaspoon salt (I don’t use)

1 ½ lbs. frozen hash browns or O’Brien Potatoes,   thawed

4 cups shredded Monterey Jack-Colby Cheese ( you   can substitute lower fat cheese like cheddar here)

Optional – 15 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I usually use   1-2 strips only, and often none, really just to garnish top of strata)

2/3 cup cream of mushroom soup (I use low fat soup)

8 eggs (you can use egg beaters here)


Microwave or sauté the chopped green onions in butter until tender.  Bake the potatoes in a 250° oven for one hour.  In a large bowl beat eggs then combine the rest of the ingredients except for the bacon and mix well. Spray a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray then fill with contents of mixing bowl.  Bake in a 350° oven for 60-65 minutes. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the casserole 10 minutes before the casserole is done.  Let stand 5 minutes then cut and serve.

May be prepared in advance and refrigerated, covered.  If placed in the oven directly from the refrigerator, uncover and bake for 70-75 minutes.

Bread Pudding with Apple Cider Sauce  –  Serves 12

    (What I do to lower the fat content if you are so inclined)


Leftover bread – cubed (I   use 2 baguettes of French bread, but cinnamon or sourdough also work nicely) 3 cups half & half (I often   use fat free half and half)
8 oz pkg cream cheese,   cubed (I use Philadelphia   Light or Fat Free) 1 stick butter (I haven’t   found a way to lighten this one up, other than not to use butter at all)
12 eggs, beaten (I often   use egg beaters to lower fat & Cholesterol) ½ cup maple syrup (I use   light or ½ calorie syrup)


Coat 9 x 13 inch pan with vegetable spray like PAM.  Place one layer of bread cubes in the pan.  Sprinkle the cubed cream cheese over the bread.  Place another layer of bread over the cream cheese.  Mix remaining four ingredients and pour over top.  Optional – I often sprinkle some raisins or other dried fruit or chocolate chips across the top at this point. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes and serve with “Apple Cider Syrup.”


Apple Cider Syrup  (I usually quadruple this recipe so that I use all cider – the syrup keeps well in the refridgerator for a long time)


1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups apple cider  


Mix sugar and cornstarch.  Add cider, lemon juice and cinnamon and place in heavy saucepan.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Serve warm over bread pudding.


About Amy: Amy owns and runs The Mandolin Inn, a bed & breakfast in Dubuque Iowa.