December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Brunch

Since Matthew and I are on our own this Christmas, we really wanted to be as celebratory as possible. This includes, but is not limited to: spontaneous Christmas music infused dance parties, reading Christmas stories, snow angels, and watching classic Christmas movies (as previously explained). 


And of course making reeaally good food.



This morning we woke to huge snowflakes and one very excited pup. Matthew curled up in our kitchen chair and read aloud while I made a very simple but delicious Christmas Eve morning brunch. This recipe is based on one very good casserole made by my sister-in-law Anna, with a few extras added in. Paired with a Mimosa - just right.

Sidenote: Does anyone else detest the word "casserole" as much as I do? I feel like it conjures images of salty trays of creamy mystery goop. Do we ever hear of some famous chef raving about a casserole?

Okay, that was out of hand. It is Christmas after all. Humble casserole, I apologize.

Nevertheless, I file this dish under "Semi-Crustless Rectangular Quiche...of Sorts."

The ingredients are extremely customizable for this dish - I used the cheese I had on hand, vegetables that needed using up, and bread that was getting stale. Feel free to go crazy.


/ BREAKFAST CASSEROLE /

Essentials:

8 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Half & Half
Loaf of Artisan Bread, sliced
Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage - About 5 large links, casings removed
1/2 Bag of Spinach, lightly sauteed
1 Small Onion, sliced along the pole, lightly sauteed
1 Smallish Head of Broccoli, lightly sauteed
Assorted Cheeses (Chedder, Gruyere, Feta, Goat - whatever you have)
Assorted Spices (S+P, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Sage - whatever you like)

Start out by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9x14 rectangular baking dish and line with sliced bread. (I had never done this before, but when Anna made it this way it was delicious.)

Cook sausage in medium skillet, breaking it up into smallish bits. Remove sausage and set aside, and use the remaining oil/sausage bits to lightly saute the onion, broccoli and spinach. (This prevents a soggy casserole.)

Layer ingredients (vegetables, sausage, cheeses) in a pleasing manner. And by that I mean do it however you want. It will turn out fine, trust me.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and Half&Half together. Add desired spices. Pour mixture evenly over dish, making sure that all of the bottom layer is saturated.

Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes; let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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