Sunday, February 23, 2014

Traditional Middle Class Breakfast Casserole

     When I moved to central Illinois, I was greeted with an entirely new menu of middle class food. One of the more ubiquitous dishes was the Breakfast Casserole. You'd find these gastric bludgeons lurking at most potluck breakfasts or brunches. Boasting anywhere from twelve to six hundred eggs and upwards of fifteen hundred pounds of sausage and cheese, a single slice could meet your caloric needs for the next two days. However, they are crazy good. There's a bunch of different ways to make these. You can use potatoes instead of bread, change up the sausage with ham or bacon, use different cheeses or veggies. I have yet to have a bad one. This particular version is pretty basic and is intended to give you a starting point for your own personal breakfast powerhouse. As always, notes are in blue.

Traditional Middle Class
Breakfast Casserole
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 loaf Herbed Swirl Bread, cut into 1" cubes (in the event you don't feel like making bread especially for this, you can sub in 1/2 loaf of any hearty bread)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons Frank's Hot Sauce
  • 8 slices American cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C, Gasmark 5)
  2. In a pan, cook onion, peppers and sausage until sausage is browned. Drain excess grease and set pan aside.
  3. Spray a 13"x9" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put down a layer of bread cubes in the dish.
  4. Spread the sausage and veggie mixture in an even layer over the bread.
  5. In a large bowl, lightly beat 12 eggs (make sure you take them out of the shells first. That's critical), with the milk and hot sauce. Pour over everything in the baking dish, ensuring that you have an even layer of egg covering everything.
  6. Lay the slices of cheese over the top (next time I think I may put the cheese in between the bread and sausage layer and then sprinkle some cheddar over the top. Live and learn).
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until egg is completely set.

A generation of chickens headed to the casserole
Good times!

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