Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breakfast Bar Casserole

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

(Psst: Have a look here for our first ever giveaway.)

Tonight we revisited my favorite breakfast casserole. We did it in ramekins and everyone could put in the fillings they wanted, potato bar style. (I went with sausage and cheese and would have had spinach too if we'd had any). It was fun. It was easy. You just make the base recipe: eggs, sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper and then you make have the fillings available (mine were leftover from a potato soup we had last week, which is partly what inspired me to do this tonight).

And do you know another great thing about this recipe? It demonstrates how a simple every day 30-minute meal can still benefit from an instant read thermometer. You see, I have issues with eggs. The problem is that I very sincerely want them done. If I cut into them and those whites are all runny--well, it gives me pregnancy flashbacks of running to the bathroom. And no one wants that at dinner. As a result of this heartfelt desire for done eggs, I often overcook my eggs. This sickness ranges from the simplest scrambled egg to the basic over easy to the breakfast casserole. And then we have very firm, rubbery, sometimes even chewy eggs. When what we wanted was not raw, but light and pillowy and perfect. Cue: Instant read thermometer. Use it and you will not have to eat eggs the consistency of shellac to be assured that they are cooked. Because you will know they are cooked to a safe point at 160 degrees. You will know that you can go several degrees over that if you want them a wee bit firmer (I do), but that you needn't have eggs reading at 220. You will pull them out at the appropriate time. Sure, certain of your kids will still cover them in obscene amounts of ketchup as though you had just fed them a hairy pig's ear and demanded that they eat up or no Halloween candy, but you will know that they are good. You will know that they are perfect. And you will eat them in pillowy-egged bliss. Amen.

So join our giveaway.

Below is the breakfast casserole recipe. Have a look here for the original post and cost information.

Breakfast Bar Casserole
Serves 4
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Basic Recipe:

6 eggs
1 C sour cream (we use full fat)
1/2 C Swiss or Cheddar cheese (Swiss is my favorite, but we only had Cheddar tonight and it's good too)
salt and pepper (about 1/4 tsp of each)

To this you can add:

Crumbled bacon
Crumbled sausage
Onions--cooked with the meats or raw or green
spinach or slightly wilted chard
tomatoes, chopped with seeds and most of the juice removed
olives, chopped
more cheese
hot sauce
bell peppers or hot peppers
cooked potato cubes
Or whatever--let your imagination go wild. If it'll work in an omelet, it'll work in this.

Grease 4 ramekins (I believe mine are 4-oz, but they might be 6-oz.).CorningWare French White 4-Ounce Ramekins, Set of 2

Have extra fillings cooked, chopped, and prepared and allow family members to sprinkle in what they will. And then give it a little stir.

Bake on cookie sheet at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until instant read thermometer registers at least 160 (I like to go a little higher than this and settle in the 170 or 180 range--I told you I had issues. They're still pillowy; I promise.) They'll rise up high above the ramekins and them fall a bit as they cool.



  1. I keep coming back to this post and just drift off into an egg-y daydream. I made my son buy some eggs. These are so beautiful! I cant wait to follow in your egg steps. (and Im right there with you on the doneness of my eggs) As a matter of fact, my kids didnt know eggs werent supposed to have a slight brownness to them till they were in high school. When Emma started cullinary class to be precise!

  2. I still make Kip do our scrambled eggs most of the time because he does them so much better. Mine come out all rubbery and overcooked. What would Julia Child say:)?



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