Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Guest Breakfast Casserole

You know that recipe. The one you rummage for when you realize you haven't planned a breakfast for your weekend guests. Your weekday Cheerios won't do. No, no... you're playing host and the morning calls for something with hostess heft. Pretty presentation protein. Entertaining ease.

Screw a different recipe every time. Instead, figure out a formula that works and vary to suit your mood, the season or whatever you have in your fridge.

The formula is easy: bread, eggs and half and half. Then add a 1/2lb meat, 2 cups veggies, seasoning and give it a good soak. Cheese it and bake it.

This version has Cajun flair, since I was welcoming guests for Mardi Gras, but there are near endless options. Spinach and swiss cheese. Bacon and asparagus. Just stick with the proportions and you'll be all set. Look how smart you are!

Guest Breakfast Casserole
Cooking spray
1 baguette, cut into 1-inch slices on the diagonal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb. andouille sausage, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
8 eggs
3/4 half and half
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (I prefer Tony Chachere's)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Spray a 9x12 casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices on the bottom of the dish. Tear up smaller pieces to fill in the holes between slices. 

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and add andouille. Cook sausage for 5-6 minutes, until brown and remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Add peppers and shallots to pan and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Allow sausage and pepper to cool before spreading over bread. 

In a large bowl, mix eggs, half and half and seasoning. Pour over bread and pepper mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the casserole and bake (covered) for 45 minutes, just until eggs set. Remove foil in the last few minutes to give the cheese a bit of color. Coo slightly and enjoy!

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