Monday, October 3, 2011

Breakfast With Friends

Song Pairing:
Back Home Again by John Denver
Today I'm using leftover biscuits from an earlier post.  The biscuit recipe I used is essentially my mother's and every time I make them I think of home - the sights and smells of my mother's kitchen fully surrounding me.  It only makes sense, then, that as I use the leftovers I'll be transported back home - again.  Besides, cooking breakfast items such as sausage and onions just seems to sit naturally with music that's more country and folksy, don't you think?  And John Denver is perfection in that department!

I'm usually not a big breakfast eater.  Don't get me wrong, though.  I love the traditional breakfast foods - eggs, bacon, pancakes, french toast, hash browns, etc.  I just prefer to eat them later - like at dinner time.  In the morning I usually grab a quick bowl of fruit with homemade yogurt, or my granola.  But sometimes I do have a bigger breakfast - like when we have company!

My daughter had some friends from college down for the weekend.  They are all great guys and gals and the perfect house guests.  They shared their stories with us, included my husband and I in their discussions, and even laughed at our attempts to be funny and entertaining hosts.  In exchange for being such great guests I wanted to prepare an actual breakfast for them Sunday morning.

It set me to thinking about those biscuits I made a couple weeks ago.

In my pursuit of perfecting that biscuit recipe I ended up with a bunch of biscuits left over.  I mean a BUNCH!  So I froze them, double-wrapped, in hopes of finding the perfect way to use them at a later time.  And I was thinking that "later" had arrived!

I started researching breakfast casserole recipes and came across several that I smashed together and came out with my own version - one that would use up those biscuits!  Or at least six of them!

I was very happy with the results!  The biscuits drink up the moisture but not to the point of dryness!  They actually taste roll-like in texture, springy and soft.  There's no feeling like you're revisiting yesterdays or last week's dinner here.  It feels completely fresh and new - which is BIG in the leftover world.  The variations on this are endless - just endless.  When I have any leftover breads in the future, I'll be revisiting this recipe to see if maybe, just maybe they'll feel at home in this recipe.  Of course, it doesn't have to be breakfast but that's what I'm calling it - just because I like how it sounds!  "Hey!  It's good to be back home - again!"

Biscuit Breakfast Casserole
Printable Recipe Card
6 biscuits, cubed
1 lb. sausage or  1/2 lb. bacon, or Canadian bacon (I used chicken sausage in mine)
1 t. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
5 eggs
3 c. milk
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried mustard
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. sage
variations:  I'm thinking diced apples would be wonderful, shredded carrots, too.  And I'm wondering how cornbread would be - I bet it would be delicious - which then takes my mind to using some roasted chili peppers and smoked cheese...... somebody slap me!

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.  Place cubed biscuits in pan, spreading out to evenly cover the bottom.  Sprinkle half of the cheese over biscuits.

In a saute pan, heat the oil until warm.  Add the onions and sweat for about 3 minutes until translucent.  Add the sausage and stir and brown, using a wooden spoon to break up into small chunks.  You can also use links and just slice them into rounds before adding them to the pan.  For bacon, cut into small strips and stir and cook until crispy.  Drain any excess grease.  Scatter contents of pan over the biscuits and cheese in the casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and milk, whisking to blend well.  Add the salt and pepper and remaining spices, stirring to mix.  Pour over the contents in the casserole dish, being sure to cover it well with the milky mixture.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.  A knife should come out clean when pierced in the center.  Let cool a little then cut into squares and serve.

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