with tomatoes, mushrooms & fresh basil
8 Tbs (3/4 stick) butter, divided
½ cup chopped onion
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced & seeded tomatoes
1 cup diced ham
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
5 large eggs
4 cup half-and-half, milk or a combination
1 loaf of bread, crust removed and thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup grated parmesan
Melt 1 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, ham and basil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Whip eggs in a large bowl; whisk in half and half. Season to taste with salt & pepper; set aside.
Butter an 8 -½ by 11-inch baking dish with 2 Tbsp of the butter. Place half the bread slices along bottom of dish, fitting pieces together snugly. Scatter vegetable mixture over the bread, top with both cheeses, and pour three-quarters of the egg mixture evenly over the top. Layer remaining bread slices over that, followed by the remaining egg mixture. Press lightly into the egg mixture and dot with remaining 5 Tbsp. of butter. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Place the baking dish in a larger roasting pan and fill the roasting pan halfway up with hot water. Bake until custard is set and top crust is golden brown, about 50-60 minutes. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.