August 7, 2012

Christmas in August Casserole

The basic... i.e. Kid Approved.  
While living in New Orleans my husband and I became addicted to bread pudding.  There are so many versions, (my favorite only has a handful of ingredients...) both savory and sweet.  And when you look at the traditional Breakfast Casserole, it's really just a savory bread pudding.  Which makes me very happy...

Like most folks we typically have our casserole on Christmas morning.  And I always serve it with a simple fruit salad.  But a couple of days ago I was seriously craving comfort food, and of all the great options, we settled on our Christmas casserole.  (I say we... but you know what I mean.)

There are so (!) many versions of this casserole.  And all I have personally tried have turned out great.  Bacon, sausage, spinach, mushrooms, umpteen cheeses.  Any and all combinations work amazingly well.  But, sadly, my sweet children are finicky.  If I jazz something up too much, or heaven forbid put some of that "stinky feet cheese" (i.e. Gruyère) in a casserole, they will turn their noses before it hits the table.  Little Lu is great as proclaiming, "but I did try it and I didn't like it!" about the time I am taking the dish out of the oven... 

They'll even let me sneak a few mushrooms in there...
So in honor of my two sweet, yet finicky angels, I kept this Christmas in August casserole simple, just for them.  And they approved.  


Sausage & Cheddar Breakfast Casserole
serves 9-12

• 1 small Vidalia (or yellow) onion, diced
• 1 8 oz. package baby portobello or button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 pound Maple breakfast sausage
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
• 1 small loaf French bread, or half of large loaf
• 6 eggs
• 2 cups half and half
• 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg   

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease (or spray) 9X12 glass casserole dish.  Tear French bread into 2 inch pieces and spread across the bottom of casserole dish.  In large skillet, brown onion and sausage.  Ladle sausage mixture atop French bread and reserve drippings in skillet.  On medium-low heat, add olive oil and saute mushrooms in sausage drippings until tender.  Ladle mushrooms over sausage and bread.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar over mushrooms.

In a large glass bowl, whisk 6 eggs with half and half until well blended.  Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Pour egg mixture over bread, sausage, mushrooms, and cheese.  With spatula, press down to soak all ingredients well in egg mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or let sit for 15 minutes.  (Either way works fine!)

Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes until casserole is set and top is golden brown.  Remove to cooling rack and let casserole rest for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.  Enjoy!    

No comments:

Post a Comment