I’m not much of a breakfast person but I love breakfast for dinner. Christmas and Easter could fall off the calendar and I wouldn’t miss them, but please let me keep Shrove Tuesday and let me make every Tuesday Shrove Tuesday.
This recipe for Savoury French Toast Casserole from A Beautiful Mess inspired a recent round of breakfast for dinner. I skipped the melted butter in the egg mixture, used 5 whole eggs instead of 4 plus 2 whites, used less milk, and was a little more elaborate in method. And I’m spelling it savoury (hashtag Canada).
Here’s my version of the casserole:
- Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
- Scramble together 5 eggs in a four-cup measuring cup, and then add enough milk to reach 3 cups of liquid.
- Cut your loaf of bread into cubes and place in a bowl.
- Pour the egg+milk mixture over the bread and stir to coat all the bread; let the bread+egg+milk sit and soak up while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. Add more milk if you bread seems dry (mine certainly wasn’t).
- Grate cheese.
- Chop sun-dried tomatoes.
- Get together anything else good–herbs, sausage, whatever–you want to add to the mix. I had some leftover ground lamb which had been cooked with herbs and red wine–plenty flavourful, so I skipped additional herbs.
- Coat the inside of your casserole dish with butter (or use the oil of your choice to prevent sticking–I say more butter).
- Spoon half of your bread+egg+milk into the casserole dish.
- Add your savoury goodies–in my case, lamb, sun-dried tomatoes and aged white cheddar cheese–to the dish. I opted for a single thick layer of goodies in the middle, rather than dividing them between the middle and the top as in the ABM recipe.
- Spoon the rest of the bread+egg+milk mixture into the casserole dish, and pour any remaining liquid over the top.
- Cover the dish and place into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 20-ish minutes.
- Grate a liiitle (or a lot–I don’t judge) more cheese so you have some for the top of the casserole.
- Remove the lid from the dish and sprinkle with the additional cheese.
- Cook another 10-ish minutes until the casserole is set and cooked through.
- Allow to rest for five minutes before serving.
I also cooked up a batch of caramelized onions (my favourite food, really, I think) to accompany the casserole. I used the onions as a timer: I started the onions once the casserole was in the oven, and cooked the casserole covered until the onions were close to being done. Then I took the lid off, added the cheese and waited until the onions were done. Perfect timing.
More to come on caramelized onions, I’m sure. Basically you want to do them Beastie Boys style: slow and low is the tempo.