Posts Tagged With: breakfast casserole

Frittatas, Stratas, and Quiche, Oh My

Frittatas, stratas, and quiche are all egg dishes typically served for breakfast or brunch, although you could also serve them for dinner. They are very similar and often get confused with one another. They all include eggs and usually cheese. They may also include meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. They are all savory dishes; however, a strata could go sweet. They are great for feeding groups, large or small.

Frittata

You could describe a frittata as a crustless quiche. You could also describe it as a baked omelet. Either way, it is easy to make at home and in camp. Because it has no crust, a frittata is naturally gluten free. If you leave out the cheese or substitute a non dairy cheese then it becomes dairy free. If you leave out meat, now it’s vegetarian. Frittatas are very versatile.

To make at home, you’ll need a cast iron skillet or an oven safe skillet. In camp, you’ll need a Dutch oven. Start by browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables. If you want your vegetables to be crisp, you could skip that step. Whisk together the eggs, cheese and any seasonings, and pour over the top of the meats and vegetables. And then you bake it. If you wanted, you could sprinkle a little more cheese on top during the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve warm. It makes a great breakfast any time of year. Here are a couple of our favorite frittatas.

Denver Frittata

Zucchini and Onion Frittata

Ham and Cheese and Broccoli Frittata

Strata

Literally meaning layers, a strata is a layered breakfast casserole made from a mixture of bread, eggs, milk, and cheese. A savory version may also include meat or vegetables. A sweet version may include fruit. The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling; however, depending on the recipe, you could also toss everything together like a salad before pouring the egg mixture over the top. The dish requires a rest of anywhere between one hour and overnight before it is baked. This allows the bread to soak up the egg mixture. A strata could also be described as a French toast casserole or a bread pudding. Stratas can be prepped the night before and then placed in the refrigerator to rest. In the morning, you just pull it out and pop it into the oven.

To make at home, you’ll need a casserole dish. In camp, you’ll need a Dutch oven or you could make it in a casserole dish and bake it in a box oven. Meats will need to be browned and vegetables could be sautéed to soften them. Bread will need to be cubed or torn into chunks. To increase the bread’s ability to absorb the egg mixture, some recipes recommend using stale or dried bread. Serve warm. Here are a couple of our favorite stratas.

Sausage Croissant Strata

Fruity French Toast Casserole

Blueberry French Toast Cobbler

Quiche

Quiche has an open-faced pastry crust and a filling of eggs and milk or cream which, when baked, becomes a custard. It can be made with cheese, vegetables, meat and seafood. A quiche is a frittata in a pie crust. You wouldn’t think the pie crust would add much in the way of flavor, but it actually brings a lot to the party and really gives the dish its signature flavor. Quiche can be served hot or cold although I prefer mine served hot. In the late ‘70s, quiche became extremely popular and they were featured everywhere, including television and movies. By the early ‘80s, the fad seemed to fade; however, quiche has remained steady brunch and party food since.

At home, you’ll need a pie or tart pan. In camp, I would also use a pie or tart pan and bake it in a box oven. You can use a store-bought crust or make your own. Just like the others, meats would need to be browned first and vegetables could be sautéed to soften them. I haven’t actually made a quiche in camp yet, but I might have to now.

Again, these are all great dishes for serving to groups, large and small. They are simple to throw together and, for camping, a lot of prep work could be done ahead of time at home. You can serve them with potato dishes, breads, fruits, or just about anything.

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Sausage Cheese Croissant Catastrophe

Another catastrophe for the recipe book. We made this a couple weeks ago while teaching outdoor cooking to Girl Scout adult volunteers at Camp Robbinswold. It was very tasty. The croissants brought a buttery sweetness and the Swiss cheese was nutty and sweet, which were nice contrasts to the savory sausage, green onions, and Parmesan.

It was easy to make in camp. The sausage could be browned at home or browned in the Dutch oven in camp. The first five ingredients are tossed together like a salad. The egg mixture is poured over the top and then it’s all covered in cheese. For a fancier version, you could use Gruyère cheese. Kids can help prep by tearing the croissants into chunks.

I would recommend getting it all assembled and then starting your coals. The catastrophe can rest while the coals get going. After a 45 minute bake, the eggs are cooked through and the cheese is all melty.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 13×9 baking dish, bowl, whisk.

Ingredients
1 pound ground sausage, browned
1¼ cups (5 ounces) Parmesan cheese shredded
1 teaspoon salt
6 green onions, sliced
1 package mini croissants (about 24), torn into chunks
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 large eggs, beaten
2 cups Gruyère or Swiss cheese

Prep
Foil line your Dutch oven if you choose, and coat it with butter or cooking spray. To the Dutch oven add browned sausage, Parmesan cheese, salt, green onions and croissant chunks, and toss together. Whisk together the milk, cream and eggs, and pour over the top. Let it rest so the croissants soak up all the liquid. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 45 minutes.

Serves 10-12

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A Tale of Two Casseroles

Today we’re offering a two-fer! Two recipes for the price of one!

The church we attend has a monthly Faith Sharing Breakfast. It’s simply a time to gather as a congregation and share a meal and conversation with one another.

Sometimes, the tables can fill pretty quickly and you end up sitting next to someone you either don’t know or haven’t seen in a while, and it’s an opportunity to make a new friend or catch up. They are a lot of fun.

Well, I’m on the committee and I help plan them and I volunteer to cook something each month. Surprising, I know!

Last month, I volunteered to make two breakfast casseroles (in scouting circles we call them catastrophes). I used the same recipe for both; however, for one I decided to go with a country sausage and for the other I used a hot Italian sausage. Both were a hit.

This is a simple way of adding variety when you’re cooking for a crowd. It’s also a way to cook for different dietary needs or heat levels. For example, my daughter doesn’t like heat so, of course, she went for the mild country sausage version. My son, when it comes to heat, always says, “Bring it!” so, of course, he went for the hot Italian sausage version.

The best part was watching this little elderly lady go through the line. She read the description on my hot Italian sausage version, placed a dainty spoonful onto her plate, thought about it, and then doubled down and took a second more generous spoonful. She didn’t regret that decision and thoroughly enjoyed her breakfast.

When you’re cooking for a small crowd, instead of making a lot of the same dish, try making a couple of different dishes or variations of the same dish. It adds variety and is a great way to cater to different needs whether they be heat tolerance or vegetarian or gluten or dairy. Like the two catastrophes, simply changing one ingredient can radically alter the dish.

This is a simple breakfast with just a few ingredients. It goes together very quickly. The meat could be cooked ahead of time and brought to camp in your cooler. I also use the carton of liquid eggs or I scramble them at home and pour them into a bottle for transport to camp. In camp, when it’s time to make breakfast, it’s just some assembly required.

This would make a great Sunday morning breakfast if you foil-lined your Dutch oven. Everything gets dumped into the oven, toss it together like tossing a salad, pour on the eggs, and get it on the coals. When I mixed this together, I put on food handlers’ gloves and mixed it with my hands. It was so easy.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 casserole dish, large bowl, whisk.

Ingredients
2 pounds sausage (breakfast, hot or mild)
1 (30-32oz) bag of frozen tater tots
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk

If You’re Prepping at Home
In a large skillet on medium heat, add a little olive oil and brown the sausage until no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat, cool, and load into a releasable plastic bag or a container for transport to camp. In camp, foil-line the Dutch oven and grease the foil. Start 25 coals. Add the tator tots, cooked sausage and cheese to the Dutch oven and toss together. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over the tator tot mixture and bake (see baking instructions below).

If You’re Prepping in Camp
On coals or on a propane stove, over medium heat, add a little olive oil to your Dutch oven and brown the sausage until no longer pink. Remove from heat. Spoon out the sausage into a large bowl. Drain the excess fat from the Dutch oven and set aside. Start 25 coals. To the sausage bowl, add the tator tots and cheese and toss together like a salad. Pour into the Dutch oven. In the same bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over tater tot mixture and bake (see baking instructions below).

If You’re Making at Home
In a large skillet on medium heat, add a little olive oil and brown the sausage until no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat, cool, and load into a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Add the tator tots and cheese and toss together like a salad. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over the tator tot mixture and bake (see baking instructions below).

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 1 hour or until eggs are set. Refresh coals as needed.

Serves 8

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Breakfast Catastrophe Italian Style

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Our Boy Scout troop’s annual pioneering weekend is typically cold and often rainy so I always plan a menu with hot and hearty meals when I’m cooking for the Scoutmasters.

For breakfast on Sunday, I wanted to make a breakfast casserole (aka catastrophe), but wanted to make something a little different than the usual ones I make. I decided to make a catastrophe with an Italian flair. I’m not Italian, but I should be. I love cooking, and eating, Italian.

I knew the Scoutmasters could handle heat so, instead of the usual country sausage, I used a hot, spicy Italian sausage. I added garlic, a red bell pepper, and I swapped out the usual shredded cheddar cheese for mozzarella.

On a chilly autumn morning, it was a hot, hearty breakfast that warmed our tummies.

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Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 casserole dish

Ingredients
1 pound Italian sausage (I prefer hot, but mild or sweet also work)
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 (20 ounce) bag frozen hash browns, thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 thinly sliced green onions

Prep
Either on coals or on a propane stove, heat the Dutch oven and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes until cooked. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the sausage. Brown the sausage, crumbling with a spoon as it cooks. Add the hash browns and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and black pepper until combined. Then add them to the Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Cover and move to coals. Bake in a 375°F oven, using 18 coals on the lid and 9 underneath, for 1 hour. Refresh coals as needed.

If making at home, combine everything in a 9×13 casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top of the potatoes begin to slightly brown. Remove and let the casserole rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with green onions and serve!

Serves 8

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Cheesy Spicy Hash Brown Casserole

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We love hash browns for breakfast either in a main dish like a big breakfast skillet or as a side dish. This hash brown casserole makes a great side dish and brings great flavor and a little heat. When I made this last weekend for the first time for a mixed group of scoutmasters and scouts, I seeded my chiles because I was concerned that I might overwhelm some of the younger taste buds. The heat was very mild. If you really want to bring the heat, then leave the seeds in. You could also swap out some of the chilies for hotter varieties. My son tried to talk me into using a ghost pepper. I said no. I opted for Monterey Jack cheese but, again, if you want to bring the heat, you could step it up to Pepper Jack cheese. I used frozen southern style hash browns, but you could just as easily peel and dice fresh potatoes.

First thing in the morning, after I get my coffee, I’d start this one. It has about 30 minutes of prep (less if you chop your veggies and grate your cheese at home before you go) and then about 30 minutes of baking time. After 30 minutes, the potatoes were cooked through but you’ll notice in the picture below that they look a little pale. Next time I might let them brown a little in the Dutch oven before I put the lid on and add coals. After I put the lid on and add coals, I also might let them go longer than 30 minutes just to see if I can get a little more color on the potatoes.

I’d recommend a 12-inch or larger Dutch oven or 9×13 deep baking dish for a full batch. If you want to do a half batch, I’d step down to a 10-inch or 12-inch Dutch oven or an 8×8 baking dish. Remember to adjust your coals for the size of your Dutch oven. Here’s a link to my Dutch Oven Size Chart and Temperature Guide.

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Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven, cutting board, chef knife, cheese grater, stirring/serving spoon.

Ingredients
8 slices bacon, fried and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 large green chiles, diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 poblano chile, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 pounds (2 bags) frozen southern style hash browns (diced potatoes)
Salt and ground pepper
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack

Prep
Dice the vegetables and grate the cheese. On a campfire, a bed of coals, or on a propane stove, fry the bacon in the Dutch oven until its nice and crispy. While the bacon is frying, load 27 coals into a chimney with 1-2 fire starters and, when the bacon is done, light your coals. Remove the bacon from the Dutch oven and set aside on a paper towel. You may want to critter and camper proof it or it just might disappear! I’ve had a number of scouts learn that lesson the hard way!

To the Dutch oven, add the butter and then add the chiles and onion, and sauté until well browned. Pour in the frozen hash browns and add some salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt; that’s a lot of potatoes. Toss everything together. Let it heat up for just a few minutes to steam off any excess liquid from the hash browns; you can crumble or chop the bacon while you wait.

Sprinkle on the cheese and top with crumbled bacon. Put the lid on and move it to coals.

Bake at 375°F, using 18 coals on the lid and 9 underneath, for about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly or until the potatoes are done to your liking.

Makes about 20 4-ounce (½-cup) servings or 10 8-ounce (1 cup) servings. And, c’mon, let’s be real. We’re all going to take a 1 cup serving and go back for seconds…. Just sayin’….

cheesy_spicy_hashbrown_casserole_IMG_1642_690px

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Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

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This French toast casserole is loaded with French toast flavor with none of the mess or bread flipping. It all goes together in a Dutch oven and, when it’s done, you can all sit down together and eat.

This recipe can be prepped up to 24 hours in advance so you could prep it at home right before you leave and then assemble it the next morning for a quick and easy breakfast in camp. It also makes a great breakfast at home that you can assemble the night before, and is a great way to do French toast if you’re feeding a crowd. If you dry the bread by baking it in the oven (instructions are at the bottom of the post) then the bread cubes will act like little sponges and really soak up the egg mixture and make a firmer casserole.

We’ve made this with fresh and frozen blueberries and with frozen peaches and we like each of those versions. The one pictured above was made with blueberries. Very yummy! We want to try apples next.

 

Equipment

12-inch Dutch oven or 3-quart rectangular baking dish, mixing bowl, whisk, measuring cups and spoons

 

Ingredients

12 slices white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups), dried*

1 8 ounce packages cream cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries, peaches or apple chunks

12 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Prep

In a mixer at home or in a medium mixing bowl in camp, whip or whisk cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, milk, syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. The cream cheese will be lumpy and that’s okay.

Place half of the bread cubes over the bottom of a well-buttered 3-quart rectangular baking dish or foil-lined Dutch oven. Sprinkle fruit over bread cubes. Arrange remaining bread cubes over fruit.

Carefully pour egg mixture over the bread mixture. This can be covered and chilled up to 24 hours; however, I would not recommend chilling it in the Dutch oven. I would assemble it in a bowl for transport to camp and then, in the morning, just dump it into the foil-lined Dutch oven and bake. When we made this last weekend, we did everything in camp, assembled, and then let it sit while we prepped the coals and that was plenty of time for the bread to soak up the egg mixture.

Prep 25 coals.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 coals underneath, for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, and topping is puffed and golden brown. Refresh coals as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with maple syrup or flavored syrup to compliment your fruit.

Serves 8

 

*To dry bread slices, arrange bread in a single layer on a wire rack; cover loosely and let stand overnight. Or cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; spread in a large baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 300°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until dry, stirring twice; cool.

 

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Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

hashbrown_casseroleI made this for the first time in March on our first Boy Scout campout of the season. It is my friend Susan’s recipe and she usually bakes it in the oven at home or in her RV. We thought it would be perfect for a Dutch oven and it most certainly was. We made this on Saturday morning for the Scoutmasters and it was a cold, crisp morning. This really hit the spot. It was warm, creamy, and filling. It was good all by itself, but when some of us plopped over easy fried eggs on top of it; it suddenly jumped to a whole new level of yumminess.

Because it was so chilly, I probably should have added a few more coals to the Dutch oven or let it bake a little longer. The casserole was cooked all the way through, but I would have liked it a little more brown and toasty. The next time I make this, I will experiment with a hotter oven. I’d also like to add some color to this dish. Maybe add a little green onion and a red or green bell pepper. You could also add some crumbled up bacon to this. Bacon makes just about everything better! I promise to post a revised recipe after I’ve tweaked it a few times!

If you are not going to line your Dutch oven, you could melt the butter in the Dutch oven, add the rest of the ingredients and do all the mixing in the Dutch oven.

Equipment

12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 casserole dish

Large mixing bowl

Large mixing/serving spoon

Ingredients

2 pounds shredded hash browns

3 tablespoons minced onion

1 pound (16 ounces) sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup

½ cup butter, melted

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Prep Work

Start 25+ coals in a chimney.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into the Dutch oven or casserole dish. Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the top and 8 coals underneath, for 1 hour or until the hash browns are golden brown. Serves about 16.

Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Fan Favorites, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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