Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brie and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

I can't tell you how many breakfast casseroles I have made in my lifetime.  I really don't remember any of them being bad but for the past 8 years or so this is the best I've come across and this is what I make when there is a pot luck breakfast at the office.

I clipped the recipe from the February 2003 issue of Southern Living.  Then, sometime later I also ran across the exact same recipe on the Bed & Breakfast Inns website in their recipes section.

It's a great place to find recipes by the way.  All of the different B&B's contribute recipes and this one had been submitted by Rock Cottage Gardens, a B&B in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

As with most breakfast casseroles, they're easy and some, as this one is, can be assembled the night before and finished off with the baking the next morning.

 I use an Italian loaf but you can use white sandwich bread if you like.

The word 'Brie' in the name of the recipe is what caught my eye

I like to buy a hot Italian sausage.  A breakfast sausage works well too.  Either way you go, drain the fat, drain the fat, drain the fat.

 Topped off with freshly grated Parmesan

Let her soak overnight in a cream, milk, egg mixture.  The original recipe suggests using 2 cups of fat-free milk but in a recipe where you are already using 3 cups of heavy cream I don't see the point in going fat-free do you?  Use what you have in the 'fridge.  I used 2%.

The next morning christen it with the rest of the cream and eggs and bake for almost an hour.

You will be rewarded with the creamiest, soufflé-like concoction so velvety smooth it will melt in your mouth. 
Brie and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Southern Living
Serves 8 to 10

1 - 8 ounce round of Brie
1 pound ground hot Italian sausage (remove from casing if it is in links)
6 to 8 slices Italian bread (enough to make one layer in your pan)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
7 large eggs, divided
3 cups whipping cream, divided
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
Garnishes optional:  chopped green onions, or shaved Parmesan cheese

Mise en place:
  • cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well and set aside
  • trim rind from Brie and discard; cut cheese into cubes and set aside
  • grate Parmesan
  • crack 5 of the eggs into a large mixing bowl
  • measure 2 cups of the whipping cream and add to eggs
  • measure the cups of milk, sage, salt & mustard into the eggs and cream bowl
  • slice bread (if not already) and trim crusts, saving crusts
Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Place crusts evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.  Layer evenly with the bread slices, then Brie, then sausage and finally the Parmesan cheese.

Whisk the egg/cream mixture well and pour evenly and gently over the layers in the baking dish.

Cover and chill mixture for 8 hours.

The following morning pre-heat the oven to 350°F.  Whisk together the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream and the remaining 2 eggs; pour evenly over the chilled mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until casserole is set (making sure not to let the top get too brown).  Garnish, if desired.

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