Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Brinner Idea

I have already posted about my deep and abiding love of brinner. If my kids had it their way, we would have fried eggs and toast every night. Though that sounds appealing on several levels, I don't think that would be the most nutritionally sound plan. To satisfy our brinner cravings, I try to work in some other dishes.

This recipe for Breakfast Casserole came to me a few years ago. I was at a parent coffee for Kara's nursery school and one of the moms brought this delicious egg, bread and sausage casserole. You know you hit the jackpot as a cook when pretty much every other mom in the room is asking you to email the recipe asap. Julia, the mom in question, being super efficient, actually followed through the same day, and I immediately copied this recipe into my book. Don't you love it when you come across a delicious recipe by chance?

Here is the original, courtesy of Julia, aka Jack's mommy, aka home cook extraordinaire.

-Cook up one package of breakfast sausage and dice into small pieces
-Slice 6-8 thick pieces of crusty bread and then cut into 1-2 inch cubes
-Grate 1 cup cheddar cheese or measure one cup from the bag of shredded cheese you keep in your fridge.
-Mix 8 eggs and 2 cups of milk. Add in salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder.
-Butter a deep dish casserole and layer bread, cheese and sausage ending with bread on top. Gently pour egg mixture into casserole and press bread down so that the bread is all wet.
-Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Note: If you are making this for brinner,  you can assemble it all in the morning and it will be ready to cook by dinner time.)
-Bake for 1 hour at 350

In addition to being delicious, this recipe is incredibly flexible. (The version I made yesterday morning and baked last night used half a loaf of stale baguette, onion, red pepper and mushrooms all finely chopped and a Mexican cheese mix.) You can add veggies, omit/change the meat, change up the cheeses, use more or less bread to vary the size of the finished product. It is a great pot-luck addition, and it is also perfect if you are hosting a brunch because all the "work" is done the day before. Finally, it is good leftover. Just pop it in the microwave and it is nearly as good as it was out of the oven.

Gotta love brinner!

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