Friday, November 5, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook – Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Most times, by the time I get around to blogging a recipe, it has been a few weeks since I actually cooked the meal in question. Not this time. What you are looking at was last night’s dinner. And it was late… really late… I think we ate around 7:30 PM or so. I forget that, when you cook dinner from scratch, you need to start cooking shortly after lunch. Anyway, Mrs. Squirrel was very patient with me, and we tried not to over eat. All is well that tastes good! (And I like breakfast for dinner sometimes!)

This hashbrown casserole is a great breakfast all by itself, or is a great side-dish as part of a large breakfast or brunch gathering. I served a variation of this as a side dish when I cooked omlettes to order for a crowd of seven at my Oregonian friends’ home when I stayed with them a few weeks ago.

Our ingredients are:

9 thick slices of bacon, cooked and cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed
5 red potatoes, grated and drained (dump the grated potatoes in a tea-towel and squeeze the excess liquid from them)
10 slices of bread, crusts removed
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
6 eggs
4 cups of milk
1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
1 tablespoon of butter

Cut the crust from 10 slices of bread & cut two slices in half. Liberally spread butter on the inside of a large casserole dish (mine is a 10-inch by 15-inch dish). Line the bottom of the dish with the sliced bread.

Crack the 6 eggs into a large mixing bowl; add a tablespoon of yellow mustard, and wisk until smooth. Slowly pour 4 cups of milk into the bowl while continuing to wisk gently until thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate.

Grate and drain the potatoes and sauté the onions. In a large mixing bowl, mix the potatoes, 2/3rds of the cheddar, 2/3rds of the mozzarella, the bacon, and the sautéed onions. I find it best to use your biggest bowl and just get your hands in there and mix the ingredients well. Arrange evenly on top of the layer of bread in the casserole dish.

Gently pour the custard into the casserole. Pour slowly, otherwise you could disturb the potatoes and such. Bake, uncovered, in a 375° oven, for 45 minutes. Remove and spread remaining cheese on top, then return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Makes 8 servings. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

post signature