Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I was on the ball this year
Holiday Breakfast Casserole
The Ugly Binder, found online somewhere
1 pound hot bulk sausage (mild can be used – hot is better) I used hot
10 slices bread (cut or torn into cubes)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups milk (whole milk – low fat makes this casserole kind of runny)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1. Crumble sausage and brown. Use a fork to break it into smaller crumbles as it browns. Drain off the fat. I did this ahead of time.
2. Pour the bread cubes in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Spread the cubes around evenly on the bottom of the casserole dish.
3. Sprinkle the sausage around over the top of the bread cubes.
4. Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the sausage.
5. Use a fork to beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until bubbly and frothy.
6. Carefully and slowly pour the egg/milk batter over the top of the casserole.
7. Cover the casserole doll with a lid or tightly with tin foil and place in refrigerator overnight.
8. Put casserole in a cold oven (since the dish is quite cold). Turn heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for approximately one hour or until the casserole is “set” and slightly brown around the edges. I think mine took much less than an hour - keep and eye on it.
Every year I think about making something special for breakfast on Christmas morning but I never get around to it since I am usually stressed to the max when Christmas Day finally arrives. Well, this year I wasn't rushed and stressed and I actually managed to make this breakfast casserole. I cooked the sausage ahead of time and just put it all together before I went to bed on Christmas Eve. It baked while the boys checked out what Santa brought them.
I have to be honest, while this was good straight off, I preferred the reheated (nuked) leftovers. Fresh out of the oven, the bread was a bit creamy and fluffy which I love in a sweet bread pudding but it was a bit off-putting to me in this for some reason. I used a soft white bread - I think next time I will try something with more body. I think the texture problem was a personal thing - there wasn't anything wrong with it. Reheated this was not a problem - it had all set up pretty well and had a firmer texture. The picture shows a piece of the reheated casserole. It would have been hard to get a neat slice out of the casserole fresh out of the oven.
I loved the flavor. The spicy sausage was great in this but you don't have to go spicy if you don't want to. This was such an easy way to get a savory breakfast on the table. I am not much for a sweet breakfast, especially on Christmas morning, after I have spent the week baking and making candy.
I think this would make a great dinner too. I would brown the sausage the night before and just put it together in the morning and pop it in the oven as soon as you get home from work. I have a problem with browning the sausage, then putting everything together right away. Not a problem if you're baking something right away but something seems weird to me about mixing hot cooked food (sausage) with raw cold food (eggs) and then not cooking the whole thing through right away. That doesn't sound like a good thing to do, food-safety wise, but that is just my gut feeling.
Question of the Day: What did you have for breakfast on Christmas morning?