I took the plunge this week and attempted my own version of a breakfast casserole – all by myself! I was planning my own assortment of ingredients so I didn’t know exactly what temperature to use or how long to cook it. Consulting the myraid of recipes out there, I saw suggested temperatures between 350 and 400 degrees, for anywhere from 30 – 70 minutes. Jeesh! How was I supposed to know how long to cook mine? I decided to follow one recipe’s suggestion to use a toothpick to test that it was cooked through and to just check it frequently.
about ¾ lb of sausage
about ½ an onion
two green onions
about ¼ bell pepper
two heaping serving size spoonfuls of Fresh Salsa (Italian Rose – available at Sam’s Club)
about two tablespoons of sweetened almond milk
about a ½ tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
maybe a ¼ tsp celery salt
about a ½ tsp cilantro
(I didn’t measure anything so I’m making my best guess after the fact on measurements)
I started out with cooking my sausage. Per one recipe, I didn’t brown it. I let it go until it was right about to start browning and then removed it from the pan and set it aside. I added the pepper flakes, celery salt, and cilantro to the sausage while it cooked to give those flavors a chance to come together.
Next, I sautéed my onions, using the same pan. Once the onions were good and caramelized, I added the bell pepper and green onion, for about a minute. Then I added the Fresh Salsa and cooked for maybe another minute.
While the onions were cooking, I cracked my four eggs and whisked them up with a bit of sweetened almond milk – first time I’ve ever used almond milk. Tastes good.
When the veggies were ready to come off the stove, I mixed them in with the meat, then added the egg mixture, mixed it all together, and poured it into an 8 x 8 buttered pan.
Backing up a bit, about the time I started the onions, I realized I had not turned the oven on yet. Doh! I set it to 400 (while still not sure if I wanted to cook it at that temp) and hoped it would be ready when it was time to put the casserole in. It wasn’t. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be good to let the egg sit with the meat and the veggies, which were both still warm. Probably not a big deal but I’m just a novice in the kitchen I wasn’t sure. So I took a deep breath and just put it in the oven. Then after a couple of minutes (the preheat light still wasn’t off yet), I turned the temp down to 375. I know. I’m so random.
Our oven doesn’t cook evenly so we always turn whatever we are cooking at half the total cook time. I set my timer for 15 minutes for turning. So far so good. At the 30 minute mark I tested with a toothpick and it came out clean but I was worried about the short cook time. The only recipe I saw using an 8 x 8 pan (most are for 9 x 13) had a 70 minute cook time – eek, big difference! So, taking a random suggestion from another recipe, I covered the pan and cooked it for about another 6 minutes (I was going to go for ten but then I panicked that it would just be too much.) I tested with a toothpick again – like it’s going to change from 6 minutes ago. Sure enough, toothpick still clean. The edges were a bit brown and starting to pull away from the pan and touching the top of the casserole to test firmness, it seemed firm and well cooked through. Knowing it would cook a little more in the pan even after taking it out of the oven, I took another deep breath and took it out. I let it sit until almost completely cool before putting it in the fridge. Commence waiting and worrying that it won’t be filled with tasty goodness.
Flash forward to the next morning and this is how it looked.
And it tastes GREAT! So relieved.
He who doesn’t risk never gets to drink champagne.
~ Russian Proverb