In the not-too-distant past, I got a text from a friend asking what she could bring to brunch on Saturday. I wasn't sure what she should bring... because I didn't know I was hosting brunch on Saturday. It turns out that, thanks to a series of mis-communications, someone had told someone else that they were coming over on Saturday morning (true. I knew about this.) and someone had told a third person about it, and somewhere in the middle there was mention of food.
Obviously I decided this meant it was a sign I should host brunch, and made blueberry muffins (YUM! Why have I never made these from scratch before???) and a new recipe from the well-loved and sometimes referred to on this blog, Best of Bridge series. Except that my mom was here... and since she is physically incapable of making a recipe the way it stands, we made some changes. (but thanks to the idea that you should give new things a shot, I tried to keep it down to under 10 things.)
And... it was a hit. It was, by far, the best breakfast casserole I've eaten. It had flavor, it was a nice texture, it made everyone go back for seconds, and everyone asked for the recipe. Hence the revival of the blog. (now that the baby is almost ONE, I should be back here anyway.) I'm not joking - it is the BEST breakfast casserole I've ever eaten. (did I already say that?)
First, brown two lbs of Hot Italian Sausage. (if you're using real sausage, remove the casing. if you're using breakfast sausage like I did, carry on.) And to that meat add about 1/2 c of diced onion and cook it with it (this is a "do as I say and not as I do" moment, because I forgot to do this when I took pictures, and it's too bad). Drain the sausage.
Grease a 9x13 dish and prepare to feel like you're making "breakfast lasagna."
Layer 6 oz of mild green chilies (chopped), 3 corn tortillas (cut in 1" strips),
Continue layering 1/2 the sausage mixture, 1/2 a chopped pepper, and a little more than a cup of cheese.
In a medium bowl combine 8 eggs, 1/2 cup milk,1/4 cup (ish) cilantro, ground mustard, salt, garlic salt, and pepper. (ooh, and I may have thrown some ancho chili powder in, too. I bought that stuff for a chili I made, and now I throw it in everything! Feel free to add cumin or whatever spices you like here.) Whisk up and pour it over your breakfast creation.
Sprinkle with Paprika (smoked paprika is the paprika I have... use what you love). Pop it in the fridge, and sleep tight.
To quote the cook book this came out of (before alterations) "Hooray - It's the following day, and you're ready!" What a funny book. (also note, I have made this for dinner as well, and just let it sit for 2-3 hours.)
Anyway, preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you liked cooked tomatoes, place slices over your casserole now (I tried it on half, but decided I prefer fresh, if any). Bake your casserole for 1 hour, or until set in the center and slightly browned at edges.
Let is sit for 5 minutes while you get the rest of your meal together, and serve with salsa, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, or by its self (honestly, I don't think anyone used much of the condiments - it was so tasty alone...)
And enjoy yourself. You've just pulled off what I used to think was impossible - you've made a breakfast casserole worth eating. Be proud. And go cut yourself another piece.
Brunch-Saver Casserole:(3) 4 oz cans chopped mild green chilies
6 corn tortillas, cut in 1" strips
2 lbs hot italian sausage
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2.5 cups cheddar jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp chili powder (ancho chili powder if you've got it)
1/2 tsp pepper
paprika to sprinkle (smoked if you have it)
tomatoes, salsa and sour cream for condiments
Brown sausage and add onion. drain.
Layer 1/2 the chilies, 1/2 the corn tortillas, 1/2 the cooked sausage, 1/2 the chopped pepper and 1/2 the cheese. Repeat.
Mix milk, eggs, spices and cilantro together and pour over top of casserole (I know it looks like it's not enough. It is.) Sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours, or overnight.
Add sliced tomatoes if desired. Bake at 350 for one hour, or until set in center and slightly browned at edges. Rest 5 minutes.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.