Breakfast Casserole

I got really hooked on cooking when I realized that there are only a few basic recipes behind hundreds of dishes — more than enough to keep you and your family happy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for many years. It’s sort of like the three or four chords behinds thousands of tunes you can play on your guitar or uke.

Substitute a couple of ingredients, or amounts, or spice and herbs and you travel magically to a different country, culture, or cuisine. I suppose this isn’t mentioned in any of the food and cooking readings I can recall because writers might be concerned about taking away some of the unique value of one cuisine or another. My specialty is the fun and value of family food and the food revolution going on that’s impacting agriculture, economies, nutrition, and health around the world.

Here’s the latest breakfast casserole I’ve made in honor of Mother’s Day and the visit of a great sister-in-law.

This dish caught my eye because it’s totally Keto, using Keto-favorite ingredients and because it sounded delicious. It’s an Italian-styled version of other breakfast casseroles I’ve made. Thinking I had everything that the recipe called for, I launched in to find that the Parmesan I thought I had was actually Swiss (a leftover bit wrapped up in plastic that I could have sworn was…well, you see the problem). Since Swiss didn’t feel right, I shifted to shredded Cheddar — in fact, a blend of shredded “Mexican” cheeses from Kraft.

I was already committed to using Italian sausage, so I decided that since Italian and Mexican cuisines are both Latin in origin…oh, never mind, I just did what I had to do. The recipe called for 3 sausage links (no size or weight specified); I had 1 lb of ground sausage meat. The recipe said 6 oz of mushrooms, but who buys 6 oz of mushrooms. I had 8 oz. In they went. Instead of adding chili flakes for a little heat, I subbed my favorite hot pepper sauce (Cholula). I also fudged on quantities of cream cheese, cheddar, and other add-ins as I tried to compensate for extra meat and mushrooms.

I baked the casserole about one-third longer than spec’d and let it come almost to room temp before sampling. It was fantastic. Can’t wait to try it again, making new variations to travel to some other foreign culture! Let your creative cooking out!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • Herbs of choice, such as tarragon, oregano, parsley, thyme, etc.
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 8 oz shredded cheese
  • 8 oz sliced or chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • optional: 10 oz frozen spinach, bell pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 eggs

How to

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Brown sausage with herbs
  3. Add cream cheese, stock, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Saute onion and mushroom in butter separately. Add in other selected vegetables. Set aside.
  5. Whisk eggs thoroughly.
  6. Build the casserole in 9×13 dish. Layer sausage, vegs, and cheese twice. Pour eggs over. Add more shredded cheese on top.
  7. Bake 40 minutes.
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Breakfast Casserole
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