Xmas Breakfast Casserole

“Why don’t you make that breakfast casserole you used to make?”

“What’s wrong with your Breakfast Casserole?”

“Not enough eggs.”

“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

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork breakfast sausage (if you’re in Oklahoma I used half Blue and Gold and half JC Potter)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cups white bread (Pep Farm Hearty Farmhouse white, crusts on) cubed
  • 14 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 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

Instructions

The night before:

  1. Cook the sausage in a large skillet and drain the fat.
  2. Add onion and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. Allow sausage/onion mixture to cool.
  4. Coat the bottom of a 15″ x 10″ baking dish with melted butter.
  5. Spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the dish.
  6. Add the cooled sausage/onion mixture.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and dry mustard.
  8. Spread the shredded cheeses over the sausage mix.
  9. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sausage and cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning:

  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes until the top turns golden brown and the casserole is bubbling on the sides.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Sprinkle the red pepper and green onions on top.
  6. Yum.

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.

Advertisements

Scraps Frittata

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
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dried basil, healthy pinch
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in an 8 inch non-stick pan.
  2. Saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the basil, salt, and pepper.  Add oil if needed.
  5. Spread the spinach evenly over the potato/pepper mixture.
  6. Sprinkle Parmesan over the spinach. Be as generous as you like.
  7. Beat the eggs and half and half.  Pour over the vegetable mixture.
  8. Preheat your broiler.
  9. Allow the frittata to sit over a very low flame until set.
  10. Place the pan under the broiler to brown the top.
  11. Remove from the broiler and place the frittata on a serving plate.
  12. Serve warm or cold.  Makes about 4 servings.
  13. Yum.

Update

The recipe stays.

Wing and Leg Navy Bean Soup

I survived another Thanksgiving and managed to gain just 2/10th of a pound.  But I was unable to escape Texas without leftovers.

In the fridge there was a gallon size baggie with some white, some dark, one leg and one wing from the bird.  Thanksgiving was two days ago.  I had to do something or this would become cold turkey sandwiches (boring).  After a few minutes of anguish I had an idea…soup.

I almost called this recipe “A Wing and a Prayer” because I never put turkey in navy bean soup before.  But since it’s my basic navy bean soup recipe with some roasted turkey parts tossed in the pot I’m sure the soup will turn out fine.

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 qt low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 lb dried navy beans
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cooked turkey leg
  • 1 cooked turkey wing
  1. Soak the beans overnight in water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Saute until the vegetables are softened.  Add the thyme and saute an additional minute until the herb is fragrant.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans.  Add to the pot along with the vegetable broth, bay leaf, and turkey parts.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 2 hours or until the beans are soft.
  5. Remove the wing and leg.  Allow to cool and remove the meat from the bones.  Discard the bones.  Dice the turkey meat and return to the pot.  Correct your seasonings.
  6. Yum.

The Next Day

This may be the quickest edit to a post ever.  I forgot to list salt and pepper.  But if this is your first visit to this recipe you wouldn’t know that.    When I corrected the seasonings I tossed in some paprika, dried parsley and a little shake of garlic and onion powders.  The Boss also told me to use up the leftovers so in addition to the leg and wing I added about 4 ounces of breast meat.

During the simmer phase keep an eye on the pot.  As navy beans cook the liquid thickens so don’t let the soup burn.  Add sufficient additional liquid to avoid this calamity.  At first I used water.  Towards the end of the simmer I used some organic chicken broth.  In total I may have added nearly a cup of liquid during the cooking process.

The soup turned out yummy.

 

The Unoriginal Cabbage Soup

Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.

Bertrand Russell

We all know better, but we don’t choose better. I was a cokehead, a heroin addict. At night you get coked up knowing you’re going to feel terrible in the morning. You have to make the habit of doing what’s difficult now to make you better. It’s easy to do the right thing when you’re used to it.

Russell Simmons

I named this soup Unoriginal because there’s really nothing original about cabbage soup.  It could just as easily be called What’s in the Fridge Soup because I had a small head of cabbage that needed to be eaten.  There were two halves of two different peppers and half an onion.  What do you do with these odds and ends?

Soup.

Something happened to me this summer.  I was a lapsed vegetarian for over 30 years and in the beginning of August I got serious about my diet (again).  Kyrie credits his diet for the recent Celtics winning streak.  Clearly something is happening to a lot of people.  It’s not just me.

Choose better.  Losing 200 pounds was not easy.  Regaining 40 pounds was easy.  Making the right food choices?  Trust me, it’s easier than you think.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 large onion, thin sliced
2 carrots, peeled cut into coins
1 stalk celery sliced thin diagonally
1/2 each red and green bell pepper, slice
1 cup frozen corn
7 oz canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 small head green cabbage sliced
1 quart organic vegetable broth
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium size pot heat the olive oil.
  2. Everybody (except tomatoes, corn and broth) in the pool in the following order: onion, carrots, celery, peppers, garlic, cabbage.
  3. Saute until the cabbage wilts, add herbs, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.  Add corn and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.
  6. Yum.

 

Baked Oatmeal ala Frenchy

Baked oatmeal? Never heard of it. I’ve been cooking for over 40 years and never heard of baked oatmeal.  I was introduced to baked oatmeal on 11/12.  It took a few days but I finally posted Doris’ Baked Oatmeal recipe on the 15th.  On the 16th I get an email from another one of those friends where time is meaningless.  I start to read her email and I can’t believe what I’m reading.

When I opened e-mail and saw your Gary’s kitchen post about baked oatmeal from the 15th, my head dropped down to look at the breakfast I was eating. No Lie. I love the randomness of the universe sometimes.

Warm Baked Oatmeal

1 3/4 cups water
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats-I use thick cut
3 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each nutmeg, NACL
2 egg whites or 4oz egg substitute
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup- your favorite dried fruit-optional  (Unsweetened cranberries or cherries are particularly nice here)

  1. Boil water and add oatmeal reduce to simmer 5 minutes. add the dry ingredients mix well.
  2. Whisk the eggs and milk together, add to the oatmeal. Add the dried fruit.
  3. Pour into 8 inch baking pan sprayed with non stick stuff. Bake about 25-30 minutes at 350.
  4. Great topped with yogurt and toasted almonds or pecans.

About 105 calories without the topping, Bonus fiber from the oatmeal and nuts, protein from the eggs.

So in less than a week I get two baked oatmeal recipes.  Must be Karma.  I haven’t made this baked oatmeal recipe yet but if Frenchy makes  it, it has to be good.

 

 

 

Doris’ Baked Oatmeal

We all have friends like this. They are the ones with whom time is a meaningless concept. Five hours, five days, five years pass and it doesn’t matter. Time is meaningless because the friends you share a unique time/space continuum with are always there for you. Years will pass (and they do) but when you see each other again it feels as if no time has passed.

There comes a time when we all reach out. Maybe it’s for companionship, perhaps for understanding. There is a bond that exists unbroken by time or geography. A call is made. Yes, it would be great to see you again. Most of the time nothing further comes of the call. But then the second call comes, you clear your schedule, and you make time to spend with your special friends.

“Do you eat oatmeal?”

(and who at this age in life doesn’t eat oatmeal?)

“Yes, I love oatmeal.”

“Then I will make baked oatmeal in the morning for breakfast.”

Baked oatmeal? Never heard of it. I’ve been cooking for over 40 years and never heard of baked oatmeal. So when in doubt do what everyone else does.

Google it. Amish Baked Oatmeal. Dozens of recipes, all the same, each just a little bit different.

So I took a picture of the recipe but not of the book cover or author. The recipe is Amish and I’m stealing it now. I guarantee the recipe will change, but for now, I’m stealing it unchanged.  Kathy King is listed on the line with the recipe title.  So Kathy, wherever you are, Doris and I thank you for this yummy oatmeal recipe.

Doris’ Baked Oatmeal

IMG_0724

I don’t want anyone to think we just jumped in the car and drove three hours for oatmeal.

No, we jumped in the car to go see this guy with our buddies.