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Brunch Casserole

Brunch Casserole

 
I must confess, I have only made this casserole once (haven’t been brunching too much lately), but when I made it for a family gathering, there were no leftovers! It can be mostly made ahead and even frozen, which makes it great for those last minute gatherings.
I am all about tweaking recipes to your personal taste and inspirations of the moment… if you’re a meat lover then this is the ticket, if not so much then cut back the ham or sausage by half. If you would prefer the reicpe as a vegitarian dish then just substitue another cup of veggies (broccoli or zuccini work well too,) for the meat. Accompany this casserole with a bowl of fresh mixed fruit. Enjoy!

Wine Pairing: Wine with Brunch? Wine not?! Whether you choose a Cava from Spain like Segura Viudas (750ml, $8.99) or Navarran (750ml, $14.99), Blanquette Limoux from Saint Hillaire (750ml, $14.99) or Bollinger Rosé (750ml, $137.99) – it’s sure to be a wonderful day!

Photo courtesy of: www.sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb uncooked sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 lb diced country ham, center cut, trimmed
  • 2 (one red, one yellow or orange) bell peppers, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 slices day-old (or longer) sourdough bread, air dried overnight
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat and coat it with nonstick spray or a drizzle of olive oil. Place the sausage in the skillet and begin to break it up with a spatula or fork.
  2. Stir in the rosemary and brown the sausage, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, set a second skillet over medium heat and coat it with nonstick spray or a drizzle of olive oil. (If you have a skillet large enough to fit both the sausage and the veggies, just add the veggies to the sausage browning from step 2.) Add the peppers, mushrooms, spinach, onions, garlic and a sprinkle of each salt and pepper to the pan.
  4. Begin stirring and cooking the veggies down until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Set sausage and veggies aside.
  5. Generously grease a 9×13 baking pan. Break the bread into pieces and place in an even layer.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese together. Pour half of this mixture over the bread.
  7. Top with the sausage and vegetables, then pour the remaining half of the mixture and top it with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and another sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  8. Cover casserole with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight (up to one day) allow it to come to room temperature before baking.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375˚F (191˚C). Bake the casserole, uncovered, until the top is golden, edges are crisp, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Make Ahead Tips & Freezer Instructions:
Obviously this is a make ahead recipe! However, you can brown the sausage and cook down the veggies up to two days in advance. Simply put the two in a tupperware container in the refrigerator until ready to use in the recipe. Also, you can freeze this brunch casserole.

Prepare through step 5, then cover the casserole with plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature, then continue with step 7.

This recipe is courtesy of Cool Springs Wine & Spirits staffer, Richard and his dog, Bella.

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