Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jamie's Breakfast Casserole with Ham and Cheese

This month was my grade level's turn to host the monthly staff potluck. We really wanted to change things up from the usual lunch time affair. One of my teammates made the fantastic suggestion to do a breakfast potluck! Why didn't we think of it sooner? Teachers are up so early and don't generally get to eat breakfast at their desk when they feel like it. We like our hearty breakfasts. They give us just the stamina we need to keep up with a room full of energetic kiddos who are already itching for spring break (I don't think they know the teachers are itching more!).

As one of the hostesses, I had to bring a main dish. This breakfast casserole was easy, filling, and well received. It is best assembled the night before and then brought to room temperature and popped in the oven in the morning. What could be better? I doubled this recipe to make a 9x13 pan and didn't have a single serving left!



Jamie's Breakfast Casserole with Ham and Cheese
The Deen Brothers, Y'all Come Eat

Ingredients:

butter or non-stick cooking spray, for coating pan
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped
pinch salt
1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely chopped (3/4 c.)

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped (3/4 c.)

1 (8 oz.) loaf hearty French or Italian bread, sliced 1/2 in. thick

1 (6 oz.) slab thick-cut ham, finely chopped (I subbed in turkey kielbasa)

6 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 c.)

5 extra large eggs

1 3/4 c. milk

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Butter or spray an 8-inch oval or round casserole dish. Alternately, use an 8x8 glass baking dish.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and pinch of salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.


3. Add the yellow and red peppers. Cook for 3 to five minutes more or until softened, stirring occasionally.


4. Cover the bottom of prepared dish with half the bread slices. Cut pieces as necessary to make a snug fit.


5. Top the bread with half the onion mixture, followed by half the ham, then half the cheese. Repeat the layers, beginning with bread and ending with cheese.


6. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over the casserole. The egg mixture should come almost to the top of the dish.

7. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


8. In the morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature from 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

9. Bake casserole about 45 minutes or until top is puffy and golden and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

One year ago: Another potluck hit, Devil's Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

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