Posts Tagged 'Breakfast Casserole'

High Altitude Update: Breakfast Casserole

I was recently hit with a major influx of bread.  My dad was in town last week and my uncle was joining us for dinner at the house, so I had purchased a package of white bakery buns for barbecued chicken sandwiches.  An hour before dinner, I got a fantastic Foodbuzz-related delivery: three packages of rolls – one white, one wheat, one sesame hoagie – courtesy of Nature’s Pride.  My uncle voted for the wheat rolls that evening and I ended up freezing the white and sesame rolls, but my original package of white buns was left sitting in the pantry.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been making a concerted effort to keep my groceries bills down and to de-clutter my pantry by using what I have.  What’s one of the best ways to use up extra bread?  Egg casserole, baby.  My mom has a recipe that has been a longstanding family favorite, but I hadn’t tried it since Dallas.  With so many houseguests coming in the next several weeks, I figured it was time to add this one to my high-altitude arsenal.

I followed the recipe exactly as written except that I used some of the Mexican-blend cheese I’ve had in the freezer since the Ocho de Mayo party.  (If anyone wants to come over for quesadillas, let me know.  I still have four pounds of it!)  I also used all of the optional ingredients.  I baked the casserole for the full 60 minutes and let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Breakfast Casserole

This is such a tasty recipe and it absolutely reminds me of being back home.  When I wrote my original post I swore I’d only use challah bread for egg dishes from that point on, but the hamburger buns did an amazing job of soaking up the egg mixture.  (The casserole sat for 30 minutes at room temperature before I baked it; I didn’t refrigerate it at all this time.)    I was a bit concerned that it might not quite be done at the hour mark because the center looked slightly juicy; I used my instant-read thermometer to take its temperature, though, and it had reached a more-than-okay 180°F.  When I cut it after 10 minutes of resting time, it wasn’t runny at all.  (I might still give it an extra 5 minutes of baking time next time just because.)

If you’re looking for a creamy, cheesy, comforting crowd pleaser, this is your recipe. Give it a try!

Link to original post and recipe: Breakfast Casserole

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Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast casserole is a special tradition in my family. My mom usually makes it – “especially for Dr. O,” of course – during most of our visits back home. It’s pretty much guaranteed to make an appearance on the Sunday morning table if we have guests.

My mom got this recipe from a magazine several years back. I would credit the source if I could, but I’m clueless. This recipe makes a dense, delicious casserole that will comfortably serve 6 very hungry people, 8 if half of your crowd won’t need seconds. It reheats really nicely the next day as well.

Ingredients:

1 package (16 oz.) Jimmy Dean regular flavor sausage
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups cubed bread
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, dry mustard, and salt; stir well. Distribute half the bread evenly in a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pepper, half the cheese, half the sausage, and half of each optional ingredient. Repeat layers using remaining bread, pepper, cheese, sausage, and optional ingredients. Pour egg mixture evenly over the casserole. (I use a spatula to press gently over the top of the casserole at this stage to help the bread absorb the egg mixture.)

breakfast_casserole_uncooked.jpg

Bake uncovered 55 – 60 minutes or until eggs are set. Tent with foil if top browns too quickly. Cut into 12 pieces and serve.

breakfast_casserole.jpg

The results were absolutely fantastic, but I did run into one road bump. When I took my casserole out after an hour, the eggs were set but the casserole wasn’t very hot. I turned the heat up to 350, covered it with foil, and put it back in for 10 more minutes. That did the trick. I didn’t even have to wait to cut it; all liquids were absorbed and it was hot, set, and ready to go.

I hate to even admit that I do this, but this casserole gets even better (if that’s possible) with a drizzle of maple syrup. 🙂

TIPS: I assembled the casserole the same day I baked it, but my mom usually puts it together the night before (no more than 12 hours before bake time). She lets it sit on the counter for an hour to come to room temperature before baking.

I have officially decided that I’m going to use challah from here on out for all dishes that require bread to absorb liquid. It was perfect for the Banana-Raisin Bread Pudding, and it was perfect here. I actually found it at my regular old Kroger store this time around, so using it won’t require a special trip to Central Market anymore (though I’ll take any excuse to shop there!).




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