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Video:Breakfast Casserole

with John Mitzewich

Great for groups or making the most of those odds and ends in your fridge, this breakfast casserole is savory and satisfying, and as versatile as you want it to be. Make one ahead of time, and you'll have breakfast for days!See Transcript

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Transcript:Breakfast Casserole

One of my favorite tricks for an easy breakfast, especially for a large group, is a breakfast casserole. It's also a great way to use up things you have in the fridge - this casserole is perfect for that. I'm Chef John Mitzewich, let me show you how to put this together.

Okay, first step here: we're going to do something called "taking the casing off the sausage," and it's not really as fun as it sounds. But we're basically going to take this membrane that they pack the sausage in - because that's a little tough when you sauté it - so we're going to go through and we're going to take all these casings off. Now if you had leftover sausage from a dinner you did, that were already sautéed, you could just cut up the cooked sausage and do this exact same recipe. So there it is, I have one pound of regular sausage meat - no casings - really easy to break up here.

So let's head over to the stove - over a medium high heat, I have a nice, large skillet. I'm going to put in just a splash of olive oil. As you put the sausage in, it's okay to put it in before the pan is super-hot - in fact it's a little easier that way, because it kind of splatters if the pan is super-hot.

While the sausage is browning, take about a tablespoon of butter - cold butter - and just rub a 9x13 casserole dish. Because everything we cook is going to go in here, and eventually we'll put in the egg/cheese mixture.

Okay, so that's just about what we want - it's cooked through, it's not really, really well-browned. But remember, this is going to cook again as we bake it, so that's really all we're looking for there. So let's just dump that in, spread it out evenly - so that's basically the first layer here.

Back over to the stove - we're going to put this on high heat. I'm going to throw in about a tablespoon of butter. Now, unlike the sausage step, here we do want the butter to melt and pre-heat. I'll throw in my brown mushrooms - that's one pound of mushrooms, sliced up. No matter how hot your pan was, or how well you followed my instructions, there's definitely going to be water coming out of these mushrooms. That just goes with the territory - don't worry. Let the water evaporate - once the water's gone, then they mushrooms are going to start to caramelize, all those flavors are going to get concentrated and you're going to have a really delicious, very savory mushroom. To aid that, I'm going to give this just a little sprinkling of salt.

Next step, we have those diced red pepper, and I just want to give them a little bit of a sauté - they're diced pretty small, so they're not going to need too much. I hate going by time - I'm going to say two minutes, but, just until they soften a little bit. Okay, so these are set - we're going to go back over and put them in our casserole.

Okay, so here we have a dozen eggs - I'm going to add some black pepper, and again the salt's a tough call - I'm going to go with about a teaspoon. Alright, so we're going to beat up the eggs. To this mixture we're going to add our cheeses, which is going to be one cup of cottage cheese, and I also have a cup of cheddar, and a cup of Jack cheese. So we're going to pile that in, mix it together, pour that into our casserole dish, and you want to make sure it's all mixed in good.

Alright, so at this point, the oven is pre-heated to 325. I'm going to take about a quarter cup of grated Parmesan - that's just going to give it a little more color on top. If you cook it a little lower - 325 - you get a nicer texture. So, it's going to take a little longer, but I think it's worth it. This is going to go maybe 35, 40, 45 minutes - we really have to check it.

Okay, so 45 minutes later - that's how long it took - our breakfast casserole is done. The center is set. You must let this sit at least 15-20 minutes before you serve it. This is a fantastic dish for a large group - you can put anything you want in it, really there's no limit, just your imagination. The technique is always the same, and you have breakfast casserole.

Thanks for watching! I'm Chef John Mitzewich - for more information, you can go to food.about.com.
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