Ok, whoever loves to be organized raise your hand. (My hand is up!) I have always been slightly obsessed with being organized. Well ok, maybe a little more than slightly obsessed! Ask my college girlfriends. They’ll tell ya. I would write all my college papers weeks in advance, type them up perfectly and store them in my top desk drawer so they were ready to be handed in promptly on the due date. Not a minute late! I know, I know, I’m a nerd. I admit it!
Around holiday time my organizational skills shift into high gear. I want to able to relax and enjoy the holidays so I try to plan ahead and carefully choose dishes to serve that my family and friends will enjoy and won’t leave me stressed and slaving in the kitchen. So today’s recipe goes out to my fellow organizational nerds AND to those who are trying kick up their skills a notch or two! This breakfast bake is the perfect, easy recipe and will make you look like a rock star in the kitchen Christmas morning. You can do everything the night before, then let the egg mixture soak into the bread overnight in the fridge and when you wake up Christmas morning just pop it in the oven. So while everyone is ripping open their gifts (while neatly cleaning up discarded wrapping paper) this beauty is baking in your oven. When you pull it out of the oven (to the sounds of oohs and ahhs in the background) it will be puffy, golden brown and smelling absolutely delish!
I change up the veggie, meat and cheese selection almost every time I make this breakfast bake. This version has sausage, red pepper, red onions and gruyere, but feel free to use any combination of your favorite ingredients. You can use any breakfast meat…bacon, ham or pancetta or omit the meat altogether and go straight up veggie. Asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, or broccoli are some good substitutes. You can also change up the cheese, maybe swiss, cheddar, Monterey Jack, manchego or parmesan. Anything goes, be creative!
- 6 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1 lb. loaf French bread cut into 1 inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. breakfast sausage I use the larger links
- 2 medium red peppers medium chop
- 1 large red onion medium chop
- 2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese
Butter a 13x9 baking dish. Whisk first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl.
Warm olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add the breakfast sausage links and brown 4 minutes each side. Remove sausage from pan to a plate and cut into chunks. To the same saute pan add the red peppers and onions and continue to saute for 7-9 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Add the sausage, peppers and onion mixture and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. Stir until blended. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Press the mixture down with a spatula to thoroughly soak everything. Cover bake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle bake with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Bake uncovered until puffy and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.