Monday, May 16, 2011

Breakfast Casserole

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. And it's one of my favorite breakfasts to take somewhere because it's like a magic trick. It makes me look like I woke up super-early and prepared something fancy. But really I threw it together in a few minutes the night before, put it in the oven when I woke up and pulled it out when I finished showering and dressing.

You can do this magic trick, too! Or just make it for your family. If you're lucky enough to own an oven-proof skillet (iron or anodized aluminum) it'll only dirty as little as one pan, one cutting board and one knife.

Start with a huge potato. Or two smaller ones. Wash it.

I like to quarter my huge potatoes before dicing.

Then dice them or something like it. You could use frozen O'Brien potatoes or hash browns, but cook them like I'm going to cook these. This is one of my favorite dishes to use up stray potatoes in because I always have the other ingredients on hand.

Put the diced potatoes in a skillet with some olive oil and lots of Lawry's seasoning salt. (I don't get enough hits on this site for Lawry's to be paying me. I'm just doing you--the reader--a service by informing you of the best seasoning salt to use. Forget it's bad rep.)

While the potatoes are cooking on medium-high, get some eggs out. This time I'm using 8 because it's the rest of the older package of eggs I had in my fridge. I've used as few as four and as many as a dozen in this dish.

Cage-free local eggs. Buy them if you can afford them. You'll feel better. And I'm convinced they taste eggier.

Crack however many eggs you're using into a cup or bowl.

Scramble them up real good with a fork. (This is just the beginning. I didn't take a picture of well-scrambled.)

Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until you can bite one and it's tender enough to eat.

Then turn off the heat and cover in medium Pace Picante salsa. (Same disclaimer as the seasoning salt.) Or whatever salsa you like or have. This is part of the magic, too. People will think you chopped up onions, peppers and tomatoes. Joke's on them! Bwahahaha.

Let this all cool a bit, and cover in eggs. If you want to make this the night before, do all this layering a greased Pyrex dish. Then you can put the lid on, leave it in the fridge overnight, and cook in the morning. I've done this tons of times. The eggs separate and look a little funny, but it cooks up just the same.

Anyway, cover the eggs in grated cheese. This is a little less than half a block of cheap sharp cheddar. I'd use cheddar for sure, but you can buy pre-grated if you'd like. Sometimes it's cheaper. It's certainly easier, and doesn't require you to clean the grater later. (Hehe, "grater later.")

This is after it sat on the stove a while because I wasn't ready to put it in. But I did cook it at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes. Just keep cooking until the eggs are set all the way through.

Back in the day, I used to add sausage and/or bacon to this. It's infinitely customizable. You could even add cream cheese! If you're a health nut, pretend I didn't say any of this...

Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole
(serves 4+, depending on proportions used)

1 potato, diced
Seasoning salt, to taste
Olive oil, to coat pan
4-12 eggs
3-8oz cheddar cheese
1/2+ jar salsa

1. Cook potatoes in olive oil and seasoning salt until tender.
2. Cover with salsa until coated.
3. Top with scrambled raw eggs.
4. Cover with cheese.
5. Cook at 350ish until eggs are set through.

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