I learned a recipe from a friend’s mother, eons ago, for a breakfast casserole. I took the recipe home with me from college, like a special little jewel, and after one shot, it became our Christmas tradition. It’s a thing of beauty, which can be whipped up the night before, and easily varied to accomodate anyone’s (and everyone’s) particular likes and dislikes.
Christmas breakfast, again this year, was breakfast casserole. With only three of us, though….we decided to freeze the rest after a day or two. Mom has been feasting, after having cut it up into individual portion sized pieces, storing in a sandwich bag. So she ran out. I decided having this stuff on hand was a Good Thing, Martha. So I made one today, which will be summarily chopped into individual serving portions and frozen. Mom says 2 1/2 minutes in the nuclear cooking device is ideal.
As I said, the beauty of it is you can customize to your own taste. Basic recipe:
1 loaf thin sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farms), crusts removed
1 1/2 pounds shredded cheese (I prefer Costco White Aged Cheddar), but yellow cheddar, or any yummy melting cheese (or combination thereof)…whatever your preference is will do nicely
6 Cups Whole Milk
Optional Fillings (about 1 1/2 cups per layer, 2 layers worth, 3 cups all together…whatever combination floats your boat): Ground cooked sausage, chopped cooked spinach, brocolli, mushrooms, fried peppers and/or onions, cooked crumbled bacon, smoked flaked salmon, cubed ham….anything you’d put in an omelet. Use cooked ingredients, unless you are a fan of raw (brocolli, etc.)
Trim the breadcrusts (I save mine, freeze, and eventually process for home made bread crumbs). In a 9 x 15″ casserole, arrange 1/2 the bread to cover the bottom. Cover with half of your filling (the one in the pic had sausage and spinach), spreading to the edges, and top with 1/2 of the grated cheese. Add the second layer of bread, and repeat.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs and whole milk, season well with salt & pepper, and beat until well incorporated. Pour over the casserole, and press down so that the bread is soaked through. Let sit for at least an hour, but you can leave it overnight in the fridge, uncovered.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until set (my oven is twitchy…watch it so it doesn’t burn, I kind of go by the color of the cheese browning). Remove from oven, and let sit for 20 – 30 minutes. If you’re going to cut into freezer portions, refrigerate first. To reheat, nuke for about 2 1/2 minutes, with a loose covering (mom uses the leftover freezer baggie).
Something yummy, quick & substantial for breakfast.
~ Blonde Gator