How is it possible a grocery store on a SUNDAY has NO MUSHROOMS? The only plain white button mushrooms were the pre-sliced variety. They were brown and old. I guess I could have bought some of those fancy gourmet mushrooms for a gazillion dollars a pound. Or I could have stopped at another store for mushrooms. In the end I decided to just wing it.
So, no mushrooms. Dried shiitake? No, too Oriental for me. In the place of mushrooms I caramelized a medium sweet onion and also added some riced up cauliflower.
In about 20 minutes we’ll find out if the substitutions works.
“Can’t you just put more eggs in it? Besides I have no idea where that recipe is.”
“It’s on your blog.”
Well, it’s here now. Here’s another fine example of something I made at some point in the past but the recipe went AWOL. So here we go (again) and this recipe is as original as any you’ll find online. Overnight breakfast casseroles are all pretty much the same. Some use potatoes, some don’t. I saw one recipe that used croutons instead of bread. Mushrooms and spinach seemed pretty popular. Use what you have on hand and let your palate be your guide.
Xmas Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Serves 12 or more depending upon portion size
2 pounds pork breakfast sausage (if you’re in Oklahoma I used half Blue and Gold and half JC Potter)
12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (medium, Wisconsin sharp, and NY sharp)
1/4 butter melted
1/2 small red pepper, small dice
3-4 green onions, tops only, diced
The night before:
Cook the sausage in a large skillet and drain the fat.
Add onion and saute until the onions are translucent.
Allow sausage/onion mixture to cool.
Coat the bottom of a 15″ x 10″ baking dish with melted butter.
Spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the dish.
Add the cooled sausage/onion mixture.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and dry mustard.
Spread the shredded cheeses over the sausage mix.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sausage and cover with plastic wrap.
Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning:
Take the casserole out of the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least an hour. It can be cool to the touch but not cold.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes until the top turns golden brown and the casserole is bubbling on the sides.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle the red pepper and green onions on top.
Post Xmas Brunch Observations
You’ll note this recipe does not call for any salt or pepper. You won’t need salt or pepper in the dish. Allow your guests to season as they please. Trust me on this. This dish is quite rich and full of flavor even the salsa and ketchup on the counter never got used. We made Xmas Breakfast Potatoes on the side. This casserole freezes well for quick and hearty meals when you don’t feel like cereal or toast. Make sure you’re feeding a crowd because otherwise you’ll have a lot of leftovers.
Sometimes you have odds and ends in the fridge. Half an onion, two halves of red and green peppers, maybe even some leftover fresh spinach sauteed with garlic in the freezer. No one else is home. So it doesn’t really matter if this thing turns out OK or not.
I hate wasting food. There’s just too many people on the planet who would gladly take your odds and ends, the scraps that might get thrown away. So tonight I made a frittata with what I had on hand. And if it turns out OK, then this recipe stays on the blog.
If not, well you’ll never know it was here.
2 Tbl EVOO
1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly
1/4 red pepper, sliced thinly
1/4 green pepper, sliced thinly
2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, organic, small dice
1 cup sauteed fresh spinach with garlic, drained
1/4 cup half and half
Dried basil, healthy pinch
Salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in an 8 inch non-stick pan.
Saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes and continue cooking until nearly cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add more olive oil if needed to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan.
Add the basil, salt, and pepper. Add oil if needed.
Spread the spinach evenly over the potato/pepper mixture.
Sprinkle Parmesan over the spinach. Be as generous as you like.
Beat the eggs and half and half. Pour over the vegetable mixture.
Preheat your broiler.
Allow the frittata to sit over a very low flame until set.
Place the pan under the broiler to brown the top.
Remove from the broiler and place the frittata on a serving plate.
In today’s world of instant information the recipe wasn’t hard to find. After confirming with The Boss that the recipe I found was the one she used, I started writing. But my eyes caught the following:
Recipe adapted from Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen with Trisha Yearwood (c) Clarkson Potter 2008
If I understand this correctly the recipe here is an adaptation of an adaptation of Yearwood’s original 2008 version.
So with all of these credits it’s likely I won’t get slammed for a lack of attribution like I did when I published a slightly altered version of someone’s Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe.
1/2 loaf of sliced white bread
1 pound fresh bulk pork sausage
5 ounces Sharp and 5 ounces Medium Cheddar, grated
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs beaten
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.
Grease a 9- by 13- by 2- inch casserole dish with butter.
In a skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to drain the fat.
Spread sausage over the bread and top with the cheese.
Mix half-and-half, dry mustard, salt and eggs. Pour into the casserole dish.
Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
The morning of serving preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake covered until set and slightly golden, about 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for 15 minutes before serving.
Pepper? Definitely add some black pepper. We used Potter sausage a fine MIO product which IMHO is some of the best pork sausage on the market. Very good ratio of fat to flesh. For the bread, use a thick slice bread in the Texas Toast style. This size helps to create the perfect size bread cubes. Yes, I also noticed that this recipe and the original do not specify how much butter. (psst…this is not a low-fat low-calorie vegan dish so how much butter do you think?) Don’t ask me why two different Cheddar cheeses because I don’t know.
I’ll go out on a limb and predict this dish will be Daughter-in-law Approved. Anything you can toss together the night before and bake in the morning is a life saver when you have a Tiny Human on board. Plenty of leftovers too.
It’s been two months since I posted a recipe. Too many interesting research articles, bunnies, work…the list is endless. Well the drought is over. I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge and told myself “I am not going to waste perfectly fine leftover mashed potatoes”. I hopped online to find a decent potato pancake recipe. But instead, I stumbled on a quiche recipe that used instant mashed potatoes for the crust. One of my go to recipes is frittata that has plenty of potatoes in it. So why not quiche?
Trigger Warning for Easily Offended Militant Vegans
2 large mushrooms (white button or baby bella) sliced thin
4 large eggs
1 cup organic half and half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Two dashes nutmeg
salt & pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9″ pie pan with 1 T of the olive oil. Press the mashed potatoes into the pie pan to form a crust.
Bake the potato pie crust for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the oven off and leave the potato crust in the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Cool thoroughly.
Heat up the oven again, this time to 425 degrees.
In a large pan saute onion and mushroom for approximately 10 minutes in 1T olive oil and 2T of butter. Add defrosted and drained spinach and continue to saute until the mixture is somewhat dry. Add a dash of nutmeg. You don’t want any visible liquid. Set aside. Cool thoroughly.
In a small mixing bowl whisk the eggs & half and half. Add the other dash of nutmeg, and a dash apiece of salt and pepper.
Spread vegetable mixture evenly on your potato pie crust.
Sprinkle Parmesan and cheddar cheeses over the spinach mixture.
Pour egg mixture over the spinach and cheeses.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn oven heat down to 350 degrees and continue baking for approximately 30 more minutes or until golden brown.
Slice & serve.
Why yes, of course you can add cooked diced bacon at step 8.5. Swiss instead of cheddar would be an excellent substitute. If you don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes by all means use one of those deep dish frozen pie shells. If you add bacon and use a frozen pie crust this recipe becomes my world famous spinach quiche that I’ve been making for years. But as I move along the spectrum to more of a WFPB diet I’ve been leaving the bacon out.
I’m not quite sure how I would make this pie palatable for my easily offended militant vegan readers. I need to think about this a little more.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or trans-fat free margarine
4 hamburger buns
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
Stir in wheat germ, cheese, mushrooms, onion/garlic powders, thyme.
Place the shredded zucchini in the middle of two paper towels. Fold the paper towels over and gently squeeze out as much moisture possible.
Add the zucchini to the wheat germ mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste. (optional)
Chill for one hour in the fridge.
Shape into 4 patties, 3/4-inch thick.
In a nonstick saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the burgers and fry until golden brown. Flip and brown the other sides.
Serve with buns and your favorite toppings.
“Why don’t you make those veggie burgers that you used to make?”
Sure. That was only a quarter of a century ago and I can’t remember the recipe. The only thing I remember was that my homemade veggie burger of days past had wheat germ in it. Maybe carrots. So after reading too many recipes online, I decided to start experimenting using this recipe as the starting point.
The end result was pretty good. I’d forgotten how much better tasting a homemade veggie burger was when compared to the frozen varieties.
Tips and Pointers
Other vegetables would work well. Be creative in your selections. For example, if you have leftover broccoli, chop it up and use instead of the zucchini. Carrots, sweet potatoes would be good too. You can use fresh garlic and/or fresh onion. I have learned that powders provide the same flavor punch without the harshness of fresh which sometimes doesn’t get cooked thoroughly enough.
There were some nice zukes at the store. It was February so I surmised they came in from Mexico. But they were small and buying just one became a problem when preparing burgers. So I shredded some organic carrot for around 1/4 cup. When added with the tiny squash the total vegetable content came to around a cup total. I ended up using 1/2 cup of mushrooms and the mixture didn’t get too loose if you know what I mean and I think you do. I had time to chill the burger mix and this makes it easier to shape and fry.
“You must have had quite a few people buying challah this morning.”
“No. We only made one loaf for the morning.”
This really happened at a bakery contained within one of those fancy we sell you everything type of grocery stores. It was a Saturday morning. I came to the store specifically for this type of bread. So this little story explains how a loaf brioche got into this recipe now adapted from a recipe of nearly the same name by the Steep Acres Farm B&B somewhere in Oregon.
Seriously. Why does a bakery make one loaf of bread?
One stick butter
Half cup brown sugar
Half cup pure maple syrup
One cup chopped pecans
Eight large eggs
One and a half cups of half and half
One and a half tsp cinnamon
One tsp vanilla extract
One loaf brioche sliced thick
Heat butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth. Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish. Sprinkle pecans.
Whisk the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Dip bread slices into the mixture and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, take the dish out of the refrigerator a minimum of thirty minutes prior to baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the dish uncovered until it becomes golden brown and puffy. This will take between 35 and 40 minutes. It will be done when a knife stuck in the center of the puffiest part comes out clean.
Serve warm with more maple syrup. Sit back, savor, and enjoy the compliments.
Pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract. Any usage of maple flavored sugar syrup or imitation vanilla will destroy this dish and you’ll never be invited over for anyone’s pot luck brunch ever again. In a pinch, a loaf of soft French bread will work.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre | The falcon cannot hear the falconer | Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold | Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world | The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity. -- W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming