Breakfast, if it’s a good breakfast, is probably my favorite meal of the day. I love breakfast foods. Maybe it’s just because I so rarely have a long lazy morning to whip up a big home-cooked breakfast (especially since I love to sleep in when I can). I cheated a bit on this one, it requires that all the real work get done the night before. So, it allowed us to have a wonderful big breakfast without me getting up early.
For Jeff’s birthday this year, which fell on Labor Day weekend, I planned an entire 4-day weekend of food festivities for our family. That’s right, 4 days, not just 3 days. Since I had a Furlough Friday, Jeff took a vacation day so that we could have Friday for just the two of us to do a tough hike because we had the kids for the rest of the weekend.
I decided to make my husband a kick-butt “manly” no-calories-barred breakfast that Friday (remember, long hike in the afternoon) for his birthday morning. I was delighted to find this breakfast casserole by the Neelys. A “manly” breakfast casserole? Yep, when it comes jam-packed with two of my husband’s favorite flavors: spicy hot and sausage. And it turned our really really good!
The casserole did get a bit extra crispy (note the dark, almost burned look to the meat). But, it didn’t burn of taste burned. It just looked a little extra crispy.
Despite the extra crispy factor, it tasted sensational. Even the leftovers were great reheated the next morning. Our 11-year-old son Hunter tried a little bite of the leftovers and really liked it as well. So we are already looking forward to making this again soon, and cutting back just a few minutes on the bake time.
I hardly modified this recipe at all. I doubled the amount of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper because Jeff and I (especially Jeff) have a freakish love for really hot spicy food. And I cut the recipe in half since there were only two of us. I probably should have cut down the baking time a bit to account for the smaller quantity of food in the dish; I’m pretty sure that’s why it ended up a tad bit crispier than I wanted.
- 2 cups leeks, cut in rings, rinsed thoroughly
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound ground pork sausage
- ½ loaf French baguette
- 1 cup grated Cheddar
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese
- 6 each large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet on medium-high heat. Saute the leeks with a pinch of salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne. When the leeks are translucent raise the heat to high and add the sausage and cook for 8 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs together with the cream, milk, the remaining cayenne, a pinch of black pepper and salt.
- Cut the baguette into cubes and put in the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch glass casserole dish. Sprinkle the bread with the Cheddar cheese. Pour the sausage and leek mixture and egg mixture on top. Top with pepper jack cheese. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- The next morning remove from refrigerator. Put in the middle of the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife is removed cleanly from the middle. Remove from oven and allow the casserole to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.