Crème Brûlée French Toast, Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream, Syrupy Pancakes, yes, we’ve made all of these sweet dishes for company breakfast, but what about us folks who sit staunchly in the camp of the savory? Which is me, of course. Sugary foods tend to make me sluggish—not a positive start to my day.
A slice of the beautiful-to-behold Crème Brûlée French Toast with a side of bacon.
To address this issue, there are omelets, fritattas, and quiches, all of which satisfy my desire for a savory, over sweet, breakfast. Now I can add this Hash-Brown Casserole recipe, found in our latest Fine Cooking Magazine, to my arsenal. The bell peppers, onion, ham, and cheese in this dish call to mind a Denver omelet. But instead of serving the hash browns on the side, they’re combined with the eggs for an easy, hearty breakfast bake that serves 6 to 8 people. Woohoo!
After 45 minutes in the oven, we did cover the casserole loosely with tin foil because it was nicely browned on top at this point but still too loose inside. Away visiting family when we made this, there was no scale access to weigh the ham, and we just know there was more than 8 ounces for sure (leftover from our Thanksgiving feast.)
In addition, we added about a half cup of shiitake mushrooms which bulked up the volume even more so the total cooking time was 15 minutes longer than expected. Yes, there is a bit of prep involved, but then you can sit back and leisurely enjoy your cup of Joe with company (or not) for an hour or more.
Perfect for your stay-over family and friends during the long holiday season. Let me tell you, there was nary a crumb left between the six of us! And yes, you can also serve something sweet if you’re so inclined 😉 Stepdaughter Julia baked a few loaves of pumpkin bread which were a great accompaniment.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil; more for the baking dish
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- Kosher salt
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
- 8 oz. ham, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 20-oz. bag frozen shredded potatoes (do not thaw)
- 10 large eggs
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 oz. shredded extra-sharp Cheddar (about 2 cups)
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 9×13- inch baking dish with oil.
- Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add the bell peppers, ham, thyme, and pepper flakes, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the potatoes, breaking up any large clumps, and 1 tsp. salt to the bowl, and stir to combine.
- Transfer to the baking dish, and spread in an even layer. Combine the eggs, milk, mustard, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in the same bowl, and whisk until smooth.
- Evenly pour over the vegetable mixture.
- Sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake until the top is light golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. (Check after 45 minutes. if the casserole is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)
- Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with hot sauce on the side, if you like.