Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Casseroles, simply put, are not the prettiest things in the world. They're kind of like the shy, awkward girl with the great personality - the one you have to get to know to find out how fantastic they are. And when you do hang out with her you find out that often times she's the best friend you'll ever have.
I've eaten, and made, a lot of casseroles in my day. Between work and church functions, bereavement meals, and picnics - there are almost always at least two casseroles on the table. The most popular ones are probably filled with chicken, rice or stuffing, and a cream-of-something soup. Brad likes a lot of the cream-of-something casseroles, but my finicky stomach can't handle those kind anymore. I admit they're also easy, but all the sodium and ... chemicals ... somewhat scare me, too. Thus, I try to stick to ones I can make with fresh ingredients - even if they do require a little work. One way I've found to make both myself and my family happy is to make a breakfast casserole. There are a couple of them I like, but this is a new one I tried this week: Amish Breakfast Casserole.
I have absolutely no clue whatsoever why it's Amish. And honestly, I have to wonder if the Amish actually cook with cottage and Swiss cheese - but if it can be made at home, by hand, they probably do. I don't know my cheeses all that well - I'll have to put that on my list of things to learn! The beauty of this is, like many other dishes I've made, it's a one-bowl deal. Loverly. Also, and probably the best thing, is it can be tailored to suit whatever tastes you're making it for. You can try making one with sausage or ham instead of bacon, or try adding swiss chard or spinach, or play around with the cheeses. It's a lot like an omelet ... made in a big dish for a lot of people.
It was defintely a hit, and we ate on it for a few days before we tired of it. If I ever open a bed and breakfast (one of my 1,782 dreams), this will be on the menu once in awhile.
Potato Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from AllRecipes
1 pound bacon, diced
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
6 large eggs, beaten
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed*
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1.5 cups cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp, then drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a prepared casserole dish.
2. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden at edges and bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
* I find the texture of frozen hashbrowns to be too hard so I like to shred them myself. But, for the sake of time and perhaps your sanity, by all means use frozen!