Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Midwestern Make-ahead

I have many friends from the Midwest and I have to admit that a) being from California and b) being an almost vegetarian means that Midwestern fare is about as foreign to me as hummus is to a West Virginian. There are many things I fear in Midwestern cuisine; I have a innate distrust of cream of mushroom soup, I detest canned vegetables (with the exception of canned tomatoes - which everyone knows is actually a fruit anyway), and I tend to prefer my tater tots untainted by ground meat. That being said, I was pretty excited to try what my friend from Michigan calls a Make-Ahead, which I believe roughly translates to "a breakfast casserole that is prepared the night before cooking". I had envisioned a sort of scrambled egg/sausage/cheese/ hash brown concoction but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is more accurately compared to a sort of savory bread pudding. Having now tried it I have to admit it might have been the most filling breakfast food I have ever experienced and should only be served in cases of extreme hunger. I am pretty excited about the idea though and plan to experiment a little more with the savory bread pudding concept - perhaps even applied to dinner...


1 lb ground breakfast sausage (veggie works fine)
one small onion, diced
oil for cooking (if using veggie sausage) 
8-12 slices white bread (depends on thickness of slice) 
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Saute onion in pan till soft. Add sausage and garlic and cook until brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Whisk eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper.
Tear bread into chunks and place on the bottom of a 9"x 12" baking pan. The bread should cover the bottom of the pan about 1 in deep. Cover bread with cooked sausage. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the pan. Slowly and evenly pour egg mixture into pan. Cover and let sit overnight refrigerated.
Heat oven to 350 degree. Cook for 40 minutes or until egg is cooked through.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

isn't a make-ahead kind of like a strata? isn't cornmeal kind of like polenta? midwesterners are so underrated...