Sunday, July 24, 2005

Breakfast Casserole

Well folks, we’re entertaining relatives again this week, and I, your lovely and talented cooking blogger and chef, am providing lots of food to serve to everyone for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’re eating out some, but I have an elaborate menu planned for the next five days and my fridge and pantry is bursting at the seams with ingredients.

Today, while Pat and our two guests were baking their brains out at the pool in the 95 degree weather with 110 degree heat index, I was hiding in the kitchen making slaw and potato salad and prepping ribs for the grill for dinner.

The bad news is that I managed to stop up the drain in the kitchen sink for the third time in the past 15 months, this time with left over veggie parts I put down the food disposal. Why have a disposal if you can’t put anything solid down it, you know?

Anyone know a good plumber?

Any way…I have rarely posted any breakfast recipes in the past, other than last November’s Oven Puff Pancake writing, but tonight I have a simple little ditty based on this recipe. It is easy to put together in advance and let set overnight in the fridge before you pop it in the oven in the morning.

Here is what you need to do to make breakfast for four, with a little left over for kids or seconds:

1 pound of spicy hot sausage
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ medium onion, diced
½ stick of semi-sweet, unsalted butter
5 pieces of bread (your choice, I used “five grain” with the crust)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
7 eggs
2 cups half and half
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Here is the process to put it all together:

Melt your butter in a 9”x9” casserole dish (sprayed well with non-stick cooking spray) in the oven or on the stovetop.

Toss a large, heavy skillet on the stove over medium low heat. Put your sausage in the skillet and start cooking it toward brown.

Dice your onion and bell pepper and add it to the skillet and keep cooking until the sausage is brown and the onion and bell pepper are well done.

Turn off the heat, tilt the skillet over on the edge of the eye to drain off the grease, and let the mixture cool off.

When the butter has melted, tear up your pieces of bread into dime sized pieces and put them in the casserole dish on top of the butter. Make an even layer of bread chunks.

Meanwhile, while your sausage is cooling, stir up your eggs and half and half in a small mixing bowl, and add your salt and pepper.

Sprinkle a layer of your shredded cheese over the layer of bread.

After the sausage has cooled and drained a little, spoon it out in a layer on top of the cheese, then pour your eggs evenly on top of everything.

Guess what?

You're done, except letting the dish sit at least a few hours or preferably overnight in the fridge, then cooking it until done in a 350 degree oven, about 45 minutes at my house.

Enjoy Y’all,

The Redneck Gourmet

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