Friday, February 06, 2009
Never heard of egg bake? It's a sort of breakfast hot dish, a crustless quiche baked in a 9 x 13 cake pan. It's billed as quick and easy, but it actually requires planning, a lot of puttsy preparation a day ahead of time, and good timing. I even crashed my computer searching for egg bake recipes online. Nonetheless, egg bake has proven to be a very tasty crowd pleaser, which we brought to brunch last weekend with friends. I found the recipe below on a website years ago and have adapted it to our tastes and methods.
6-7 slices white bread, with the crusts removed
8-12 ounces ham, chopped into bite-sized pieces (meat is optional)
4-5 cups grated cheddar cheese (a mix of yellow and white cheddar is nice)
1 large head broccoli, chopped into florettes and blanched in boiling water for 1 minute
1 large yellow onion, chopped and sauteed in butter
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 to 3 cups half and half or milk (or a mixture of the two)
1. Start by removing the crusts from the bread slices.
2. Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Butter each slice of bread lightly, cut in half, and arrange slices in the bottom of the pan.
3. Chop the ham, blanche the broccoli, sautee the onion, and grate the cheese.
4. Layer these ingredients on top of the bread, ham first, then broccoli, then the onion. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the salt and stir in the cream and/or milk. Blend well.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, ham, broccoli, and cheese.
6. Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
7. The next morning, take the egg bake out of the refrigerator, remove the foil or plastic wrap, and allow to come to room temperature (about 15-20 minutes).
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until cheese has melted and egg bake is lightly browned on top. Let stand a few minutes before serving so the eggs firm up.
We had our egg bake with homemade cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit. The 9 x 13 pan served four adults and two children, with enough leftovers for a light lunch.
Note to readers: I'm off to Paris and Barcelona next Thursday for two weeks. Watch for a post from the City of Lights!