Sunday, May 16, 2010

Double Take: Italian Sausage Brunch Casserole

Italian Sausage Brunch Casserole

I like breakfast at almost any time of day. Whether cereal, yogurt, muffins, pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, quiche, or biscuits and gravy, I really like it all. I like trying different breakfast options to see if I find a new favorite. This week I chose Italian Sausage Brunch Casserole. Since I’ve noticed the USL cookbook tends to approximate larger serving than what I am accustomed to eating, I decided to cut the recipe in half.

It began with removing fresh Italian sausage from its casing and cooking (while scrambling it) until done. Next, green onions, sliced zucchini, salt and pepper were tossed in with the sausage and cooked until the zucchini was tender.

Sausage/Vegetable Combination

Next, I stirred in half a 7 oz jar of roasted bell peppers. (If you are looking for these, check the vegetable aisle or the produce area near the garlic.) While the veggies cooked, I sliced half a loaf of Italian bread into one inch cubes. I placed half the bread in the base of an 8 x 8” baking dish. The sausage mixture was layered on top of the bread along with shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. I repeated the layering of bread, sausage/veggies, and cheese. I poured a beaten mixture of 3 eggs with ¾ c. milk over the layers.

Casserole Before Baking

The dish was covered, refrigerated 8 hours (to allow the egg to soak into the bread), and baked for 1 hour at 325 F.

Baked Casserole (up close and personal)

Evaluation: I liked it ok. I wanted it to be more flavorful. Of note, the mild flavor of the green onions was not very noticeable in the dish. I also thought it was a little low on egg content. I also thought the bread was a little chunkier and most for my preference. I liked the flavor of the bread though. Further, rather than slicing the zucchini (I quartered, then sliced), in the future I would dice the zucchini. That is, I would want small zucchini bits…not food processed but smaller. To increase the flavor, I would cook onions and garlic with the sausage and zucchini. I would substitute yellow or sweet onions for the green onions. I would also cut the bread into a max size of ½” cubes and perhaps lightly toast it prior to placing it in the baking dish. I would also increase the eggs from 3 to 4 or 5. This reheated well and made 5 (Tabitha sized) servings.

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