I’m not much of a breakfast person normally. I love breakfast when I am on vacation, but on a day to day basis it’s the one meal I don’t set aside time for. Breakfast is a grab and go kind of meal for me. Lately my breakfasts consist of 2 clementines and a baby bel cheese ball. But on Saturday, my friend was dog sitting for a family in Princeton and mentioned that the house had a huge fenced in backyard. She had the brilliant idea of hosting a doggie play date/ brunch. We brainstormed and decided we would have mimosas, bagels with cream cheese and lox, french toast with fresh fruit, and a dish involving bacon and eggs. We split up what we would each bring and I volunteered to bring the dish with the bacon and eggs. This casserole is what I came up with and I was really pleased with how it turned out. We had the perfect weather, an amazing spread of food, and the dogs had a great time too. It was exactly what I needed after a long work week. There’s something about brunch that just makes everyone feel relaxed.
A while ago I posted a recipe for a breakfast casserole with spicy Italian sausage and creme fraiche. This bacon, egg and potato casserole is a twist on that original recipe. It’s hard to say which casserole I like better. Part of the reason why I like this recipe so much is the versatility of it. You can keep the basis the same but add any ingredients you like to it. If you wanted a more dinner friendly version you could add cooked chicken and veggies to it or ground beef with taco seasoning to give it a Tex-Mex flavor. Jalapenos would also be a great addition. I’m actually kicking myself that I didn’t add any jalapenos to this version.
It’s funny how sometimes mistakes in the kitchen can lead to really good dishes. The original recipe I posted was a result of a lack of ingredients. I was following a recipe that called for crescent rolls and tons of milk and eggs as well as breakfast sausage. I don’t know why I even bothered looking at that recipe because I didn’t have any of the main ingredients! So, I wound up creating an entirely different dish using what I could find in my fridge. I’ve made it twice and everyone has loved it on both occasions so it must be a winner.
Here’s the bacon, egg and potato version of the brunch casserole:
1 package of frozen hash browns
1 package of bacon (12-15 slices – the more bacon the better right??)
1.5-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 scallions finely chopped
4 oz. creme fraiche
3/4 cup of milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook the hash browns according to package directions. While the hash browns are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the bacon slices in half and cook them in the heated skillet until crisp. Drain the bacon slices on a plate lined with a paper towel and let cool.
3. Once the bacon is cooled, crumble it up or cut it into small pieces.
4. Add the cooked hash browns, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped scallions to a mixing bowl and mix well.
5. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and creme fraich until everything is nicely combined.
6. Pour the bacon, hash browns, cheese and scallion mixture into a 9×13 baking dish. Spread the mixture into a nice even layer
7. Pour the egg mixture over the bacon and hash brown mixture in the baking dish. Use a spatula to spread everything out evenly and make sure the eggs settle nicely over the bacon and hash browns.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Here’s some shots of our brunch spread and the puppy play date. Just for fun. We were so excited to eat that I actually didn’t get a before shot of the brunch.