June 27, 2010


This recipe is based on one my Mother made every Christmas morning.  I have eaten this Casserole for more than 25 yrs.  We call it Cathie's Christmas Casserole and now I make it every Christmas at my house and every year it is a little different.  Sometimes I use Ham and Cheddar Cheese or Sausage and Monterey Jack Cheese or different kinds of Breads like Brioche.   A great combination is Brioche, Gruyere and sauteed Mushrooms.  Mom always made it with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese and Sour Dough Bread and it goes without saying...she made it best.  This recipe is great for a large group of people because you prep it the night before and bake it the next morning.  All you need to do it make the coffee and pop it in the oven.  Like all of my recipes, you can add or remove anything you like to make it your own.  Look at the TIP section below for amazing ideas to jazz it up.  This Breakfast Casserole doesn't need to be served just on Christmas.  Bake it for lunch or even dinner and serve with a Green Salad.  But nothing beats that smell every Christmas morning as it is pulled out of the oven with the Cheese bubbling and the Eggs light and fluffy because you are Cooking The Amazing!

Here is the recipe.

2 T  Butter
6-8 c  Bread, cubed
1 lb Breakfast Sausage or Ham or Bacon, diced
12  Eggs, large
2 c  Milk, whole
1 c  Half and Half
2 1/2 c   Cheese, shredded (Cheddar, Jack, etc.)
1 t   Salt, fine
1 t   Pepper, fresh ground black
2 t  Thyme, dried

1.  Butter a large casserole dish well and set on a cookie sheet for easy transfer.  Clear a space in your
refrigerator to place it later.

2.  Remove the crust from your bread or leave the crust if you prefer it on and cube into large 1- 1 1/2 inch cubes and place into the Buttered dish evenly spread out.  Try Brioche, Italian, French, Sour Dough or your favorite.  I like the crusty parts so I leave the crust on.

3.  In a medium pan fry the Sausage or Bacon (or brown the Ham and cut into pieces) until cooked and separated into medium chunks.  Set aside and drain off the grease well.
4.  Place the Sausage, Bacon or Ham over the Bread cubes evenly distributed, tucking deep into the Bread in some areas.  Press the Meat down into the bread.

5.  Crack all the Eggs and whisk well then add the Milk and Half and Half and Salt, Pepper, Thyme.  Whisk well then pour over the Bread and Sausage.
add any add ins you like at this point (see TIP below)

6.  Cover the top with all the Cheese and distribute evenly.  Using your hands gently press down the Cheese into the mixture to compress.  Cover with plastic wrap tight and refrigerate overnight for best flavor or a minimum of 2 hours.

7.  The morning you will bake it, remove it from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap allow to sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

8.  Sprinkle the top with Salt and Pepper to your taste and a little Thyme for color and taste.

9.  Bake for 45 minutes to 55 minutes until the center is cooked and eggs are set and cheese is bubbly.
To test for doneness remove from the oven and use a spoon to open a small area in the middle of the casserole.  The Eggs should be set and cooked and not runny.  Ovens vary so your Casserole may require up to 1 hour or more.

10.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes out of the oven before serving so the Eggs set.

TIP:  Use your favorite Bread like: Brioche, Whole Wheat, Croissants, English Muffins.  Use your favorite Cheese or mix of Cheeses like:  Gruyere, Swiss, Munster, C0-Jack. 
Use your favorite add ins like: sauteed Mushrooms or Onions, Green Onions diced, Jalapenos, Tomato chopped, Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Green or Red Peppers diced or your favorite ingredients. 

                            COPYRIGHT (c) 2010


Anonymous said...

This was INCREDIBLE! Both easy and delicious. I used ham, sauteed mushrooms, cheddar cheese. This was so good and my family ate every bit of it!

Charenn29 said...

loved it. very easy to prepare too. :)