Sausage and Mushroom Strata

6-8 slices decent quality white bread, crusts removed (enough to make two layers in an 8×8 baking dish)
10 oz. chicken (or pork) breakfast sausage, casings removed
3 shallots, chopped
8 oz. button or cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup white wine
8 oz. monterey jack cheese, shredded
6 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 3/4 cup half-and-half
Salt and pepper, to taste

Dry the bread out by leaving it on the counter overnight or in a 200 oven for a half hour. Butter on one side.

Fry the sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking it apart with a spoon or spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the sausage has lost the raw color and begun to brown. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 1 minute longer. Add mushrooms to skillet, and cook until mushrooms no longer release liquid, about 6 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.

Butter 8-inch square baking dish. Arrange half the buttered bread slices, buttered-side up, in single layer in dish. Sprinkle half of sausage mixture, then half of the cheese over the bread slices. Arrange the remaining bread slices (in the opposite direction from the first layer) over cheese; sprinkle remaining sausage mixture and cheese over the bread. Whisk eggs and parsley together, then whisk in reduced wine, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until both edges and center are puffed. Let rest/cool briefly and serve.

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