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October 03, 2022

Brunch Casserole

By Sand Pilarski

"Too bad you hate eggs," I commented to my husband, in the course of one of many conversations about how to economize following his impending layoff. "We can get eggs cheap."

It was true -- there's a egg producer just out the road from where we live where I buy eggs five dozen at a time, large, fresh beautiful eggs. Five dozen costs $6 normally, but when the hens are producing extra, the Den Dulk Poultry Farm charges half that. I especially love when they have cage-free organic brown eggs -- in the supermarket I'd have to pay nearly four dollars a dozen. No worries, though; the last batch of eggs we bought at the supermarket smelled so horrible we took them back for a refund. I'll never buy eggs there again.

"Well, if you could make eggs that actually taste good," my husband replied, "I'd eat them."

He spent the next five minutes explaining he didn't mean it to sound that way.

Of course I knew he didn't, so I started looking around for ways to cook eggs that he might like. In a slow-cooker recipe, I saw some ingredients both he and I (and the rest of the family) could most likely enjoy. The time for experimentation was now, before the $$ diminishes, so I tackled the recipe with my own kitchen in mind.

Forget slow-cookers. I don't have a decent one, and I was not about to get up at four in the morning to make a slow-cooker breakfast and then what? go back to bed? The recipe had to be modified to work with my cookware and my oven. To the internet, like the wind!

There were lots of breakfast casserole recipes on the internet, with oven temperatures ranging from 350 degrees F to 375 F, and cooking times from 30 minutes to an hour. Obviously I was going to have to wing it, and just keep testing for doneness.

Various vegetables were in the original recipe and the online ones for color, and for tastes our family loathes, so I lost them. You could add them back in: red and green bell pepper, peas, cooked carrots, jalapenos; seasonings could be added to the egg and milk mix: pepper, coriander, Italian spices. Salt, no, because the sausage and the cheese are pretty salty on their own.

I cut the milk with soy milk since so many of us in this family are sensitive to milk.

When I served the dish the first time, Bernie opted to drizzle a little maple syrup over his slice; I added pepper; my son-in-law sampled bites with both ranch dressing and ketchup.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 pounds frozen hash browns
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound loose breakfast sausage
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup milk

DIRECTIONS:

Add onions to sausage, and cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned. At the same time, lightly brown the hash browns.

Whisk together the raw eggs and milk.

Reserve 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.

In a deep-dish baking bowl, spray with non-stick cooking spray, then add a layer of the hash browns. After draining the excess fat from the sausage, add a layer of it to the bowl. Next add a layer of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, keeping some of the hash browns for the top layer.

Pour whisked eggs over the mixture evenly.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 55 minutes to an hour, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

As soon as the casserole comes out of the oven, sprinkle the remainder of the cheddar cheese over the top.

This recipe serves 6 - 8 people.

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-03-08
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