For the first time ever, we hosted our family Christmas gathering in Nashville this year and it was a success! Well, at least I think so. Hopefully the in-laws feel the same way ;-)
As part of the festivities, we had brunch on Christmas morning with Ravi’s immediate family. When I was brainstorming the menu, I knew I wanted to serve a couple of things that I could prepare the night before to save time and energy the morning of. The first dish was a no-brainer.
Overnight Caramel French Toast has received so many rave reviews in the past that I couldn’t possibly leave it out. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you must. Seriously.
But breakfast can’t be all about sweets– I needed something savory to balance it out. I’ve made a number of breakfast casseroles in the past, but didn’t have any of them written down or bookmarked. Since I was in a bit of a hurry to put together a grocery list, I turned to the quickest recipe finder I know- Twitter! With a quick call-out on there for an egg based casserole, within minutes I had a number of choices. In the end, Brooke’s recommendation won out because I liked the idea of having something with a little heat to it.
The spice of the casserole was a great complement to the sweet french toast. Served with sides of cheddar grits and fruit, all of it together made for a hearty and delicious meal.
Perhaps you’re hosting a New Year’s Brunch in a few days? If so, serve this alongside the Overnight Caramel French Toast. I guarantee your guests will leave stuffed and happy!
Spicy Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6-8. Slightly adapted from Cooking on the Side via Brooke.
1 lb pork breakfast sausage
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
5 cups cubed bread*
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup thin-sliced green onions
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Drain.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt; stir well.
Distribute half the bread evenly in a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pepper, half the cheese, half the sausage and half the onions. Repeat layering using remaining bread, pepper, cheese, sausage and onions. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole.
Refrigerate up to 12 hours before baking.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until eggs are set.
*For the bread, I used a variety of types, mostly thick crusty kinds. When I have extra bread that’s getting stale, I always cube it up and put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer to be used for just this kind of thing. As long as you’re letting it soak overnight like I did, the bread will soften up and work perfectly in your casserole.