Random Recipe: Breakfast Casserole
Quick! What’s the difference among a quiche, a strata, and a frittata? Anyone? Apparently, they all contain egg and yummy mix-ins, but quiche has a pastry crust, strata uses chunks of bread as its base, and fritatta is similar to an omelet, but baked (not cooked on the stove top) and sliced into wedges (not pie slices). Who knew?
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
- 1 package Simply Potatoes hash browns (I used the Garlic and Herb variety)
- 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter
- 2 cups half and half
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup diced onions (I used white)
- grated cheese for sprinkling (any kind will do)
- optional: fully cooked crumbled breakfast sausage, veggies of your choice, salt, pepper, garlic powder
Pre-heat oven to 425. Spray a rectangular glass pan (I used 11″x8″) with cooking spray to prevent sticking. You could also use a square pan or a pie plate, though the volume of liquid might make it difficult to get into the oven, so you might want to halve the liquid ingredients. Also keep in mind that the smaller the pan, the deeper the potato layer will be. Mix the potatoes and butter, then pack tightly form a crust. Bake for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, beat the half and half and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder as desired.
Remove the crust from the oven. Reduce heat to 350. Sprinkle the onion and fully-cooked sausage in an even layer over the crust (NOTE: if your sausage didn’t come pre-cooked, brown it in a skillet as the crust is baking). Pour the egg mixture over the crust and return to oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove mixture from the oven (it will not yet be set). Increase heat to 400. Sprinkle cheese on top and return to oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden and firm. Enjoy!
- As-is, this is a gluten-free meal. If you remove the sausage and/or substitute it for vegetarian meat crumbles, this can easily be a vegetarian meal (not vegan, due to the dairy and eggs).
- If you want to bump up the health quotient, add spinach, mushrooms and chopped bell peppers. I used turkey sausage, which helped cut down on the fat.
- One of the reason I specified Simply Potatoesis that they often go on sale Buy One, Get One Free at Publix. Yay for value! (image courtesy of simplypotatoes.com)
The takeaway: We made this for dinner guests recently, and it was a big hit. Breakfast foods don’t have to be a morning-only affair. Not the healthiest, so maybe pair with a nice salad?