Rich’s mom gave me this recipe when we were down for Christmas, and I just recently got around to trying it out.
My! Is it tasty! And – wicked simple to toss together; it’s basically a strata – one of those ‘assemble the night before, then bake and serve for brunch’ casseroles. I took a few liberties with mom’s original recipe; adding red bell pepper and green onion for a bit of color, and home made bread for the base; but no matter how you make it, I think you’ll be happy with the results.
•1 tbsp canola oil
•1 lb. medium sausage – I used hot
•1 cup diced red bell pepper
•2 cups milk – I used half & half
•1 tsp dry mustard
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce – I would’ve used Earl’s, but I was already using the hot sausage, and was looking to add a bit of a zip! instead of just heat
•1 tbsp butter
•6 slices bread, cubed – I used honey rye
•1 cup grated cheddar cheese
•2 scallions, chopped
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the diced pepper and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes – just to get rid of that ‘raw pepper’ taste.
Add the sausage to the pot with the peppers – by the way, a note on breakfast sausage: read the ingredients before you choose! I compared 3 or 4 different brands at the market, all priced about the same, and went with the brand without high-fructose corn syrup in the list of ingredients. Seriously – why do you need high-fructose corn syrup in breakfast sausage?
Back to the pot; lower the heat, break up the sausage, and cook, stirring often, until the sausage is completely cooked.
Drain well and set aside.
Lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk, dry mustard and salt.
Coat a 13×9 inch pan well with the butter and add the cubed bread.
Add the drained sausage and pepper mixture on top of the bread, then the grated cheese and chopped scallion.
I like to press down lightly on the mixture to compact it a bit at this point, you do what you like.
Pour the milk and egg mixture over the casserole – it will not cover the bread, sausage and cheese mixture, so be sure to pour evenly over the entire casserole.
Cover and stash in the fridge overnight.
When ready for brunch the next morning, bake, covered, in a 350º oven for 45 minutes.
It’ll come out moist and a touch crispy on the edges and Oh! so good! You might could remove the foil for the last 5 or 10 minutes to get a crispier crust, but I thought it fine as it was.
As with so many soups and stews and casseroles – it was even better reheated the next morning, so if you don’t have a crowd around to make this for, you’re good to go to enjoy it over the course of a couple of days – I know I have.