A white bread-based breakfast is ideal for an impromptu morning meal, but good enough for company or holiday brunch. Learn to make a basic breakfast casserole with eggs and white bread, then complete the dish with your choice of meat, cheese and seasonings. Bake the casserole in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, or save time and make the casserole the night before, then reheat it in the morning.
Use regular white sandwich bread, Texas toast or thick slices of crusty French or Italian bread. Cut off the crust, and if you like, brush on a light coating of melted butter and sprinkle on dried buttermilk dressing mix. Tear or cut the bread into bite-sized pieces, then spread the pieces in the bottom of an oiled baking dish. Day-old, slightly stale bread holds up better in a casserole.
The type of meat you use in your breakfast casserole is totally up to you. Use cooked regular or spicy bulk pork sausage, crumbled bacon or cubed Canadian bacon. For a meat-free dish, use a vegetarian meat substitute, tofu or a meaty vegetable like eggplant. Turkey sausage is a low-fat option. Add leftover cooked chicken breast or ground meat such as turkey, beef or lamb. Omit the meat entirely if you like, as meat isn't a requirement for a tasty casserole.
Regular or sharp cheddar cheese is the usual choice for a white bread breakfast casserole, but nearly any cheese works just fine. Use mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, which are mild, low-fat cheeses that melt well. Swiss cheese adds a different flavor. Use cream cheese or goat cheese for a smooth consistency or blend in creamy Parmesan dressing. A blend of two or three cheeses adds variety, and a sprinkling of Romano on top is a nice finishing touch. Streamline the process by grating the cheese ahead of time, or use pre-grated cheese from the supermarket.
Eggs and Milk
Use large, fresh eggs for your breakfast casserole. If cholesterol is a concern, you substitute liquid egg products found in the dairy case at the supermarket, or omit the egg yolks in fresh eggs. If fat isn't a worry, use cream or half and half for the primary liquid in your casserole. Otherwise, use whole or reduced-fat milk. Beat the milk and eggs together and pour the mix evenly over the bread, meat and eggs.
While salt and pepper are basic seasonings for a white-bread breakfast casserole, dress up the basic casserole with a variety of herbs and spices. A bit of regular or Dijon mustard or dry mustard adds a tangy flavor. Add cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy dish, or oregano and sage for a savory flavor. Sprinkle dried buttermilk dip mix over the bread before adding the milk and eggs.
Chopped red and green pepper, purple onions or young green onions add flavor and color that may entice picky eaters to enjoy eating vegetables. Add a minced garlic clove, or for a gourmet touch, mix in a chopped shallot. For a breakfast casserole with a Mexican flair, use chopped Jalapeno peppers, salsa or Tabasco. For a bit of texture, top the dish with crunchy salad toppings.
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