Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Maple-flavored Breakfast

This blog is seriously lacking in breakfast items (other than muffins), I'm the first to admit this. The reason? We usually don't eat breakfast 1. at home, 2. together, or 3. sometimes at all. Monday through Friday I eat breakfast in the car on my way to work or incredibly quickly once I get to work and Saturday and Sunday usually find me eating oatmeal, another muffin, something that isn't really a breakfast food, or nothing at all. Most days of the week Doug doesn't eat breakfast, or if he does it is a poptart, something I've baked, or something that isn't really a breakfast food ( a dietitian would have a field day with us). Sometimes, if I'm feeling particularly energetic, I'll make a quick breakfast on a weekend if Doug doesn't have to go in too early, but that is pretty rare anymore. So when Doug told me that he had taken the first weekend in November off I knew I had to do something special. So when this recipe showed up in my email a few days later I knew it was meant to be.

I had never actually made a breakfast casserole before. I had tried many of them at other places, but had just never been brave enough to try one myself. This was incredibly easy, it is definitely a great starter recipe for those entering the world of breakfast casseroles. I followed this recipe exactly, using maple flavored sausage to bump up the flavor. I was a little worried actually about maple flavor (especially the syrup) with eggs (I really hate those McGriddle things at McDonald's- ick!) but this is actually really great. It took a little longer to cook than I thought it would but it ended up turning out perfectly. We had some leftover and Doug said it warmed up really well. Enjoy!

Maple Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from The Cook's Country Cookbook

- makes 6 servings -

6-8 frozen waffles (1/2-inch thick, not Belgian-style)
12 ounces maple breakfast sausage, crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole or low-fat milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375ºF. Arrange the waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes per side.
2. Brown the sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking it apart with a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Add half of the waffles in a single layer. Add half of the sausage and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Repeat layering the waffles, sausage, and 1/2 cup more cheese. Whisk the eggs, milk, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place weights on top. Refrigerate the casserole for at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325ºF. Let the casserole stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Uncover the casserole and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup the cheese over the top. Bake until the edges and center are puffed, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve.


Rachel said...

This sounds yummy! I make a similar strate but it has english muffins on the bottom instead of waffles. I will have to try waffles.

Jaime said...

that looks delicious! i'm not a breakfast person but that's something i would eat

Carol VR said...

heads up...

the Dec/Jan edition of the "WC recipe exchange" has been posted.

I hope you can join us