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November 29, 2007

EC's Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients (Per 9x13" pan):

32 oz. frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed thorughly
Enough onion for 1 generous layer, chopped
Enough meat (of choice) for another generous layer, browned
Same for green (or red) peppers & mushrooms, if desired, chopped
8 oz shredded Cheddar cheese (or any cheese of preference that melts well)
10 eggs
6 tablespoons milk
Seasonings to taste
[suggested seasonings - not all needed - judge according to type of meat used: seasoning salt, pepper, dry mustard, cayenne pepper or hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce, steak or poultry seasoning, southwest, Cajun or Italian seasonings, etc.]

Process:

Spray or grease a 9x13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread 32 oz. of thawed frozen hash brown potatoes (a 1/4" to 1/2" layer) on bottom of pan. Pack down lightly. (Note: if using flavored hash browns, omit the onions in this recipe).

Brown all of the ground meat and 1/2 of the onions together, along with seasonings of choice. Drain.

Top the potato layer with a light layer of chopped mushrooms, if desired. Or green or red peppers (although adding these on top rather than inside makes the dish more colorful!). Season lightly with at least Season Salt (or sea salt) and pepper (can use other seasonings, of course, if you like more rather than less seasoning).

Last layer (this one should also be generous) is the browned meat/onion mixture. If your meat of choice was bacon, make sure it is fried very crisp and diced. If a ham steak, fry or poach first till done, and then dice. If a sausage, fry and then slice or dice (according to preference). Vegetarians can substitute a soy protein product of choice, or even tofu, but again, best if cooked and flavored first before adding to casserole.

Top with 8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese (or more, according to taste and preference). Can also use a mixture of cheeses if desired.

Beat 10 eggs with 6 tablespoons of milk and seasonings of choice. Pour over everything, making sure to distribute evenly, and that the egg mixture flows down through everything.

If you've reserved the diced peppers (red or green, or both) to use as color, sprinkle them on top now. Can also, of course, use roasted red peppers, or sun dried tomatoes, or even pimentos. Anything colorful and flavorful. They may settle into the mixture a bit, so you might want to reserve a handful or so to sprinkle on right before putting into the oven, or even right before serving.

Refrigerate overnight!

Next morning (and this is important): Take out of frig. about 1/2 hour BEFORE baking (must allow to come up to room temperature). Then bake at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes or longer (till "set").