Rich saw Emeril make this on a Rachael Ray Show he caught a while back, and immediately looked up the recipe and forwarded it on to me. I gotta be honest; Emeril used to bug me mightily, but has begun to grow on me, and if I keep finding recipes from him like this, I might could even be considered a fan!
I also have to be honest – Emeril’s version makes a heckuva big casserole, and even after I cut things back quite a bit, we ended up with 5 nice servings; so be warned.
•4 large eggs
•1/2 cup skim milk
•1/2 cup half and half
•1/4 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard
•1/4 tsp Earl’s, or other hot sauce
•1/8 tsp Cayenne
•9 slices thin sandwich bread – I used some of my honey rye bread
•1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli turkey breast
•Oil- or (better) balsamic vinegar-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced into strips
•1/2 lb. bacon, cooked – I made a batch of maple roasted bacon
•3 or 4 pcs thinly sliced honey baked ham
•4 oz thinly sliced cheddar cheese
By the way – I believe that this recipe more than makes up, in my not-so-humble opinion, for yesterday’s waste of a perfectly fine Béchamel.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, half and half, salt, mustard, hot sauce, Cayenne, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside.
Butter the bottom and sides of a glass baking dish – Emeril’s super batch called for using a 13×9 – I used an 11-3/4 by 8-3/4 stoneware baking pan.
Make your Béchamel Sauce, then cut the crusts of your thinly sliced bread with a serrated or bread knife and begin assembly (again, Emeril made 16 sammiches – I chose to make only 3):
Spread one slice of bread with a teaspoon of the Béchamel, then top with a slice of the turkey. Arrange a layer of the sun-dried tomato stips on top, and then a layer of the bacon, broken to fit the sammich.
Top the bread with a slice of ham, a couple of thin slices of the cheese, and another slice of bread spread with a teaspoon of the Béchamel (the Béchamel side down).
Arrange the sammiches in the buttered baking dish – Emeril stacked his 8 across and 2 high, I simply cut one in half to fit all three nicely in a single layer in my smaller baking dish.
Pour the egg mixture over the sammiches in the baking dish and cover with parchment or wax paper.
Place another casserole or baking dish on top to act as a weight and stash the casserole in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. The sammiches should soak up most of the egg mixture, but don’t fret if there’s still some sitting in the bottom of the pan.
Remove the casserole from the fridge and heat the oven to 350º.
Top each bit o’ sammich with about a teaspoon-sized pat of butter and pop into the oven, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, or until the casserole is all puffy and golden.
I made my version of this breakfast casserole ahead of time and planned to reheat it as a quick ‘welcome-home’ supper for Rich, who was coming in on a late flight from Northern California. By the time we got back from the airport, he wasn’t really hungry, so we ended up having it the next day for dinner. I reheated it, covered with foil, for 30 minutes at 325º, then uncovered for another 15 minutes.
Breakfast for dinner. Nice.