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Sunday, September 30, 2012

A hearty brunch casserole for a crowd

For some reason, the approach of fall makes me think of brunch--one of my favorite meals--and hearty casseroles of meat, potatoes, and eggs. In summer, we think of brunch as a light meal with fruit, salads, maybe an omelet or frittata, and a bellini or mimosa. But fall, with its cooler temperatures, requires hearty meals.
I used to love to cook brunch for my big family when they gathered at my house, but, alas, that doesn't happen much any more. There are too many of them these days. and my house seems to have shrunk--or maybe, as they move into their forties, my kids are less willing to put up with crowded quarters and less than ideal sleeping space. And too often they opt to go out. I still like the idea of brunch at home, and here's what I'll fix next chance I get. The best part is that you have to do it the night before.
I first tasted this one morning when our Book Ladies group had its monthly meeting at the home of Janet and Dave Douglass. Loved it and thought the croutons were a special touch.

Sausage and Egg Casserole

Spread about 3 cups of croutons over the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish
Layer the following
1-2 lbs. ground pork sausage, browned and drained (your choice--how meaty do you want it? and do you want regular or hot sausage?)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 4 oz. can mushroom stems and piecs (optional and I think they got lost in all the other good flavors)
4 eggs beaten
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1-1/2 cups milk
Pour over layered ingredients. Refrigerate overnight.
When rady to bake, combine 1/2 cup milk with 1 can cream of mushroom soup and spread over the top.
Bake in pre-heated 300 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours.

I'd serve this with biscuits, bloody Marys, and coffee.
Serves 12.

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