This recipe idea comes to me from a great hostess. She always has the best recipes and dishes for entertaining, from make-ahead brunch foods to full-course dinners. While visiting the Cape this past summer, L. Smith and I had the pleasure of eating this delicious sausage breakfast casserole during a nice, lazy summer morning (we had just come from an early morning run, and everyone else was still asleep!) While I haven’t yet gotten the exact recipe for the actual dish we enjoyed, I thought the following dish came close.
I started with 10 medium eggs, 2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, and a dash each of paprika, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. I whisked this all together in a large bowl. Meanwhile, L. Smith cut up 2 challah rolls into small cubes and arranged them in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. He also browned the apple chicken sausage (from TJ’s–so good!), cut it up into slices, and distributed among the bread cubes in the pan. I cut up peppers and onions and sauteed them in the same pan as the sausage to absorb some of that browned meat flavor. I mixed in the veggies to the baking dish and then poured the egg mixture on top to coat everything. We let it sit in the fridge overnight. Since L. Smith is the early riser in the house, he pooped the pan into the oven in the morning at 325* F for 45 minutes, so it was ready just as I was getting up (Edit: L. Smith would like to clarify that he had to wake me up because it was already ready, and I was still in bed…)
While the dish was delicious and a great lazy morning brunch idea, we both agreed that the bread was too mushy for our liking, so next time we’ll have to try a few modifications: 1) use day-old bread that has been sitting out and is slightly hard, so that it does not get as mushy (from the eggs) in the finished product, 2) use more spice flavoring in the eggs (more paprika, pepper, maybe some onion powder), and 3) cook at a higher temp (350* or 375*).