Christmas Brunch: The Morton Family Strata

Amanda Harper


The Family Stone is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Sarah Jessica Parker is a fish out of water when her on-screen boyfriend (played by the gorgeous Dermot Mulroney) brings her home to meet his family — and ask for his grandmother’s wedding ring. But he has to go through his opinionated mom, the incomparable Diane Keaton... who doesn’t seem to like her much.

To thank the Stone family for their “hospitality,” she aims to make The Morton Family Strata. Like every other moment that Christmas, she ends up with some egg on her face. This interpretation of her family’s traditional Christmas breakfast is a pretty savory dish, best suited to brunch.

8-9 slices white bread, cut into stars or snowflakes (reserve scraps)

8 ounces mozzarella

14 ounces tomatoes, sliced

13 ounces mushrooms, drained

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

5 eggs

3 cups milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

Grated Parmesan

(optional) Sliced black olives

In the bottom of a buttered 13” x 9” baking dish, place bread scraps loosely. Layer with half the mozzarella. Top with onions, mushrooms and half of the tomatoes.

Layer the rest of the cheese. Arrange the cut-out bread shapes on top. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each bread star.

In a bowl, combine slightly beaten eggs, milk and spices. Carefully pour over the casserole.

Sprinkle Parmesan over the top. If desired, dot with sliced black olives.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but up to overnight.Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake for 90 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until firm.