Monte Cristo Waffle Strata.
Hmm, so where shall I begin?
Yesterday’s post was clearly a bit of a struggle for me (Monday…of course) but today I have SO much to chat about. This strata, my mom’s Christmas morning tradition of waffle strata and monkey bread, and then… the most exciting thing!
My little bro just KILLED it at the Dew Tour. I know this is a food blog and all, but you guys, I have to do my sisterly duty and brag a little. That kid made his entire family (aka the Gerard Family Circus) incredibly proud, but I think I have to be the most. Little Red just proved so much to everyone this last week. At only 15 years old, and placing 5th in a huge profession competition with the top snowboarders in the world. Yes, you guys in the world. He was the only American in the top 5! It’s a big frickin deal.
I can’t lie, the kids got skills.
I honestly could not be more excited for him. AND you guys, he even got me to go outside into the real world to watch him compete. I actually stopped working for almost FOUR hours. I know, I know, I still cannot believe it. I have to say, he made it worth it, and I would do it all over again. Although, watching him literally fly off 75 foot jumps is maybe one of the most nerve-racking things. Like ever.
Watching him nail (or stomp as all my brothers would say) his second run? Best feeling. Just so happy and proud of that kid. If you are at all curious to read more, you can check out a video and info here (just the very beginning of the video). A recap will be shown on NBC on 12/20 at 2:30 EST. You can also search his name if you’re super curious. Oh, and if you’re really into it, you could give him a like on Instagram. He’d be extra pumped on that.
Okay, okay. Let’s talk about food now.
Monte Cristo Waffle Strata actually. Maybe one of the most retro recipes to ever be posted on Half Baked Harvest. But hey, it’s good.
Growing up my mom always tried to make something not so sweet and sugary to go along with her Monkey Bread. She would make this waffle strata thing with Pillsbury Waffles, eggs, sausage (or maybe ham), cheese and then I dunno really know what else. I don’t remember eating it to be honest with you, but I remember my mom making it. So this year, I kind of really wanted to make a Monte Cristo and then I got to thinking it might be really good as strata.
Verdict? Yes, it is!
This is literally a Monte Cristo sandwich, but perhaps better. I mean, for one there’s waffles. Waffles that get soaked in an eggy batter, baked and topped with all the traditional toppings. Well, I used a homemade cranberry raspberry jam, but then all the traditional toppings.
You guys, this is SO good and SO easy. It takes maybe ten to twenty minutes to assemble and if you’re not feeling the homemade waffles, you can use store-bought. As much as I LOVE the homemade buttermilk waffles, I get it, it’s Christmas and things are flipping busy. You gotta do what you gotta do.
All that said, if you have the time and ability to make my waffle recipe you should. It’s definitely a hit around here. I think the boys ate the whole batch the day I made these…meaning I had to make more. The good news is, they’re really easy to make. YES.
This is the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning. You can make it the night before, let it sit in the fridge and then just have it bake while you open presents. Then eat!!
I have to say this though, the toppings for this recipe are a must… A MUST. I recommend turning your leftover cranberry sauce into a homemade topping for this dish. I just added a couple tablespoons of maple syrup to the sauce, plus a fresh pack of raspberries. It was so delicious…and festive too! Powdered sugar is also a NEED, plus I highly recommend a drizzle of maple syrup. Not highly, like you should do it. <–DO IT.
I know that sounds a bit sweet but with the eggy batter and the swiss cheese inside the waffles?!? Whoa. Yum!
Oh, I also added a dollop of Creme Fraiche, cause I mean, why not? It’s Christmas, GO FOR IT!
Trust me, make this breakfast Christmas morning and everyone will be extra happy.
Monte Cristo Waffle Strata.
- 12 square waffles if using frozen waffles, toast first, my recipe below
- 8 slices deli ham or leftover holiday ham
- 8 slices thinly sliced deli turkey (optional my family prefers this without the turkey)
- 2-3 cups swiss cheese shredded
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- pinch of salt + pepper
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- cranberry/raspberry preserves powdered sugar, maple syrup, creme fraiche + fresh fruit, for serving
- 3 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 6 eggs
- 1 1 /2 tablespoons sticks unsalted butter melted, 12
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
- Line 6 waffles along the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer with the ham, turkey (if using) and swiss cheese. Add the remaining 6 waffles on top.
- In bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the waffles. Move the dish from side to side to ensure the eggs have evenly coated all the waffles. Cover the dish and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
- When ready to bake, remove the strata from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake on the middle rack for 45 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center of the strata. If the waffles begin browning before the strata is finished cooking, cover with foil.
- Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving and then serve with warm cranberry preserves/jam, fresh fruit powdered sugar and or maple syrup. I also love adding a dollop of creme fraiche too! You can't skip out on the preserves and powdered sugar as they are essential to a Monte Cristo!
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. It is OK if the batter is a little clumpy. Let batter sit for 5-10 minutes while you preheat your waffle iron.
- Cook the waffles as directed by your waffle iron. I prefer to cook them very lightly. Eat as they are or use as directed above.
And I’ll take that bite please…wait…on second thought, just pass the plate. DONE.