Monday, July 20, 2009

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This is a recipe I found on a blog site called Simply Recipes. I made this for brunch (Dec 08) for the rotation dinner group I belong to. It was very good and it went fast! I added the 1/2 cup of mushrooms, but 1 cup would have been better.

1 lb of Italian pork sausage, (then cooked, drained, crumbled) I used a combination of sweet and
hot Italian sausage
4 1/2 cups cubed day old bread
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
10 eggs slightly beaten
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup peeled, chopped tomatoes (optional)

1 Heat a skillet on medium high. Break up the sausage into chunks and cook, working in batches if need be, until browned all around. Make sure the chunks of sausage have some space around them or your meat will steam and not brown. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and let sit on some paper towels on a plate to soak up the excess fat. Crumble into smaller pieces.

2 Place bread in a well-buttered 9x13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder and pepper. Pour evenly over the bread and cheese. Sprinkle sausage and optional ingredients over the top.

3 At this stage you can cover and chill overnight, if you want to prepare ahead. If not, let sit for 10 minutes before putting in the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake uncovered for about one hour. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

Serves 6-8.

Cream of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

I made the following soup for a rotation dinner this past weekend. The recipe calls for shopping the artichoke and mushrooms, but I decided to puree the soup. I also preferred it chilled. This recipe is adapted from I also revised the serving from 4 to 12 people for the rotation dinner. This made a large batch and could have served up to 20 at a party.

Cream of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

20 ounces mushrooms
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 bunches green onions, chopped
1 stick butter
1/4 olive oil
1/2 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
3 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
black pepper
4 cups half and half cream
Splash Sherry
1/4 c. white wine

Drain artichoke hearts and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Thinly slice the mushrooms. I used a food processor to finely chop the mushrooms

Finely chop green onion, including tops.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the oil. Saute onions, garlic, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes.

Slowly add the flour and cook slowly for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Slowly add the broth, and then the artichokes, salt and pepper.

Puree the soup in batches. I pulled out another large pot to put the pureed soup into. Once done, add the half and half, sherry and wine and cook on low for 5 minutes or so.

Vichyssoise A La Ritz

I recently made an artichoke and mushroom soup (see above), which I enjoyed eating it chilled. It reminded me of the vichyssoise I used to make. The recipe I use comes from the New York Times Cookbook. It's a classic cookbook that every cook should have on his or her book shelf.

Here's the recipe:

Vichyssoise A La Ritz

The New York Times Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne, 1961
(8 or more servings)

4 leeks, white part, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 cup sweet butter
5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon or less salt
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
Chopped chives

1. In a deep kettle, brown the leeks and onion very lightly in the butter. Add the potatoes, broth and salt and boil thirty-five minutes, or until very tender. Crush and rub through a fine sieve or puree in an electric blender.

2. Return the sieved mixture to the kettle, add the milk and one cup of the cream and bring to a boil. Cool and rub again through a fine sieve. Chill

3. Add the remaining cream. Chill thoroughly and serve garnished with chives.