Hello! Â Lindsay here.
When Gina visited Chicago a few weeks ago, I made this beautiful breakfast casserole for brunch. I had been eying the recipe for weeks, so I was glad that it turned out to be even more delicious than I was expecting. I like to refer to it as breakfast stuffing. It takes some time to put together, but since you can prepare most of it the night before, there is no excuse not to try this for a Holiday brunch this Christmas or New Years!
(Recipe from Food & Wine. As prepared, I cut the ingredients by approx. 25% since the only casserole pan we had was small.)
- 1 pound bakery white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (16 cups)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound sliced applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- One 28-ounce can whole Italian tomatoesâ€”drained, chopped and patted dry
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 large eggs
I revised a bit based on what we currently had on hand: a mix of leftover french & sourdough bread, regular bacon, and only cheddar cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350Â°. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the bread is golden and lightly crisp.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet.
Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook until any liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Return the toasted bread cubes to the bowl. Add the contents of the skillet, along with the bacon, shredded cheeses, chives and broth. Stir until the bread is evenly moistened. Season with salt. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and cover with lightly oiled foil. (You can prepare through this step the night before and keep it in the refrigerator.)
Bake the bread mixture in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is crispy, about 15 minutes longer. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 8 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve the breakfast bake right away with hot sauce.
Chop the bread into uniform cubes, toss with olive oil and bake the bread cubes at 350Â° for 20 minutes.
Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Once finished, keep approximately 2 tbs of bacon fat to cook the onions.Â Chop the bacon once it has cooled.
Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes.
Â Â Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper to the pan with the onions and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Mix the bread cubes, onion/tomato mixture, chopped bacon, shredded cheese, broth and chives together.
Bake the casserole covered in foil for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake until crispy – about 15 minutes.
Use a spoon to create holes in the casserole for the eggs.
Crack the eggs directly over the casserole, one per indentation. Then return to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes for set whites and runny yolks.
Enjoy the casserole with hot sauce and (missing from this photo) fresh chives sprinkled on top. A mimosa to wash it down doesn’t hurt either!