You really do not have to be a MasterChef at conjuring comforting winter food at home or an amazing breakfast casserole! Casseroles are slow-cooked dishes, and you would enjoy making them in your own time and pace. But first and before we show you recipes on how to conjure up your own breakfast casserole, let’s get a better understanding of what a casserole is and the basic way to spruce up a delicious breakfast casserole too.
Defining a casserole!
It is as we said a winter comforting food and with many aromas and flavors, customised plans to its name and it is slow cooked too. This method is very simple, and takes daily items from the kitchens, meats, and veggies, leftovers from last nights meals and convert them into delicious soulful meals.
With that being said, a breakfast casserole or any casserole for that matter is not tough to make. It is the art of combining prepared ingredients into a dish, covering it up and then placing it in the oven to cook. It is the heat in the oven- the indirect heat which helps warm the ingredients in a slow fashion. This does not allow the foods being cooked to stick to one another. And the food particles would not burn at the base too.
In most cases, a casserole would be cooked in an oven-proof dish which is with a tight-fitting lid, and one which is deep. These are dishes made from ceramic or glass, cast iron too and they are all oven proof. The process of casseroling once again we must remind you is not a tough concept, and there are tricks up the sleeves to use which can make it an amazing dish to have. Here is an easy-weasy guide on a basic casserole to make at home.
- You would need a chopping board and sharp knives.
- Get along an oven proof casserole dish which has a tight-fitting lid. In some homes, you may not have a flame-proof or an oven proof dish, which is okay- toss the ingredients in the frying pan and then transfer them after moderately cooked in it, into the oven.
- Keep a flat edged spoon handy, for stirring needs and to remove any ingredients from the base of the pan that has been dislodged.
- Carry a pair of oven gloves, because you would need to wear them and remove the casserole dish from the oven.
Handy hints for the perfect casserole:
- All your ingredients – veggies and meats, should be cut to the minimal size so that they all cook uniformly. If you know some ingredients cook faster than the rest, put them in the oven only when eighty percent of the casserole is cooked, or else they would overcook or burn.
- Save your time and wash up soon, and this is why you must use an oven proof dish while making your Christmas casserole.
- Do not make the mistake of adding flour to the dish after it is cooked or the raw texture of the flour would take over and destroy the taste of the casserole. If you want to thicken the liquids with the flour, dip your ingredients in it before you cook.
- The reason why we insist that you use a tight-fitting lid is to ensure that moisture is retained when you cook and that the cooking can be slow and long.
- Make sure that the amount of liquids you put into the oven proof dish is compatible with the size of the utensil. Too large a dish would mean that the liquid would reduce quickly and the food would dry out. The dish should allow three quarts of the liquid to comfortably sit in with the rest of the ingredients- this is a thumb rule.
- When choosing meats or tougher cut meat, remember, the connective tissues of the meat turn tender when you cook it and they do not disintegrate well in time. But they do add more flavor, so it is okay.
- Before you cook the meat or veggies, to retain moisture in them it would be wise to coat them in flour. This helps maintain the texture, taste, and aroma of the casserole.
- Meats should be browned before veggies, and separately. This helps seal the flavors and juices in the dish.
- Do not make the whole casserole in one shot. It would be wise to work batch-wise to ensure that the pan is not overloaded and that not too much of the juice is put in or lost.
- Be patient and you will have an amazing Christmas casserole to serve
Each casserole recipe we have given below is distinctive and unique and has flavors of its own that define its authenticity. However, we want to first show you a basic cooking process which is almost the same for every meat and egg casserole or a veggie one too. There are a few minimal steps to bear in mind when making a mouth-watering Christmas casserole.
- The flour should be placed on the plate and a dash of seasonings such as pepper and salt to taste must be mixed into it. Into this shall you place the meats or the eggs or the veggies to coat. If there is excess flour on the ingredients, you need to shake it off and place them in a plastic bag which can be sealed. When you coat it this way, this helps the flour to thicken and the liquid in the casserole would not evaporate fast. This leaves the dish, juicy and nice.
- You must heat a little cooking oil in the dish, and add only one batch of the ingredients to cook at first, and for not more than two to three minutes or until brown. Then transfer to your serving dish and do the rest of the batches. Do not forget to reheat the pan and the utensil in the oven between batches. This would be with meats and eggs primarily.
- For veggies, it would be wise to stir-fry them all over a medium heat flame and then transfer them half cooked to the oven. This would make them slightly golden, juicy and crunchy. Do not spend more than two minutes for the stir-fry, and remove when they turn brownish gold.
- When you return the meats to the oven-proof dish, do not forget to stir the liquid inside the pan, and you can add a little more red wine or canned tomatoes to enhance the taste. You can also now embellish the Christmas casserole with spices and herbs and cover the dish tight to get the baking started.
- Always and always make your casseroles ahead of time, and deep freeze them. This helps marinate and ferment the flavors of the meats and veggies and intensifies the dish’s taste too. The cooked casserole must be kept in an airtight container and frozen. It can last for two to three months. But remember, adding dairy products to the dish such as milk and creams or yogurts should be done before you freeze the dish- curdling otherwise would happen
- You must know how to make the perfect casserole cuts, which is a method that is slow, long and brings about a moist touch to the meats. The flavors thereby are sensational and the texture would be heavenly as well to taste. This is mostly in the case where you would be using chicken on the bones, tougher meats and cuts too.
With that, we hope you got a gist or an idea of why your earlier Christmas casseroles weren’t coming out right. And now with these tricks and tips, we hope you do not have any more trouble impressing everyone with a freshly made breakfast casserole too. To help you further, here are a couple of easy recipes to try this season! Take a look!
Here is a recipe for the sausage egg casserole
This is an amazing sausage egg casserole which is made by most mothers and grandmothers on Christmas mornings, and since it has just once a year, it is a special treat to the senses too. The sausage egg casserole is known to be super yummy and that is why everyone should try the sausage egg casserole at least once.
- A pound of pork sausages
- A pinch of mustard powder
- Salt to taste as per your liking
- Four beaten frothy eggs
- A cup and a half of whole milk
- White bread slices, a couple of them- toast and cut them into cube forms
- A cup of shredded cheddar cheese
How to do it:
- This is a recipe that takes minimum two hours to the max to cook. The slower the better though.
- We begin by crumbling the sausages and cooking it over medium heat.
- Turn them brown and then drain the juice out.
- In a small bowl, mix the spices and eggs and milk well, and add the bread crumbs and sausages in them.
- Now add the cheese and stir them well so that everything is evenly coated.
- Place the mixture in a greased baking dish and cover with an aluminum foil.
- Place this now in the fridge overnight. The next morning, get the oven preheated to 350F or 175C.
- Place the dish in the oven and bake for an hour.
- Uncover and bring down the heat, and then bake for half an hour more to brown the top.
- Remove and serve.
Learn now how to make an overnight egg casserole
To have an overnight egg casserole the country style, we would need to dig deep to find out the secrets of this yummy dish. So let’s learn how to make this tasty overnight egg casserole which can be your yuletide affair in the kitchen that brings your family members together for a hearty breakfast meal while the spirit of the season and the holidays are on. This is a recipe perfect for those that do not want any meat but do not mind the eggs in the overnight egg casserole.
- Six cups of cheese
- Two tablespoons of butter
- A cup of sliced onions
- A cup of bell peppers chopped
- A cup of drained and chopped mushrooms
- Eight eggs
- A cup of all-purpose flour
- Herbs and spices according to taste
- Two cups milk
- A dash of lime
How to do it:
- For this amazing recipe, we shall begin by greasing the plate with oil. It should be a non-stick plate.
- We then go on to sprinkling half of the cheese. Make sure you sprinkle the cheese evenly all over the baking plate.
- In another skillet, we shall melt the said amount of butter, and over medium heat shall all the onion slices, bell pepper pieces, and mushrooms that have been drained and chopped shall be cooked. They have to all turn golden brown and tender.
- These are then to be brought to normal room temperature and placed in the baking dish which has cheese in it. Top it up with spices and herbs of your choice.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese onto this mixture.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs into a frothy mix and add a dash of spices and lime to it.
- Take a spoon full of all-purpose flour and add to the frothy egg mix. Add the remaining herbs and spices to the same and blend well.
- Pour this mixture over the ingredients and cover with an aluminum foil.
- Let it sit overnight. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350F and remove the foil from the dish.
- Now place the dish in the oven and cook for an hour. Remove and check; if the top is not brown enough, give it another round of ten minutes of cooking.
- Remove and serve into cut squares. Garnish with herbs and sauce
How does one make an easy and a quick brunch casserole
While you are busy partying and entertaining guests for the holidays, food is a must-have item to serve. Without the need to say more, you would not be in a mood to cook something elaborate, and this is why we are here to help you learn how to cook an easy brunch casserole. You may not wake up pretty early on a cold winter morning, and that is okay. This brunch casserole would save you the time and energy of thinking what to serve your near and dear ones for a hearty brunch! Here’s how to make the brunch casserole.
- A pound of pork sausages
- A cup of chopped bell peppers of your choice
- A cup of onions, chopped
- A cup of small potatoes, boiled and chopped into dices
- A cup of cheddar cheese shredded
- A cup of all-purpose flour
- Two cups of milk
- A teaspoon of salt
- A teaspoon of pepper
- Four eggs beaten to a froth
How to do it:
- We shall begin to make this recipe by preheating the oven to 400F. in the meantime, we shall also grease a rectangular baking dish too.
- The pork sausages should be cooked to a golden brown on low flame in a deep pan, and to this, we shall add the onions and the bell peppers to stir fry when the cooking of the sausages comes to an end.
- Mix now the potatoes and the cheese into this mixture and remove from the flame at once.
- In another bowl, add the frothy egg liquid, milk and the all-purpose flour with the spices and herbs of your choice and mix or blend well into a uniform mixture.
- Pour all the cooked ingredients into this mixture.
- Now pour the final mix into the greased dish and bake without any cover for an hour.
- Remove from the oven and poke the center of the dish with a knife.
- If the knife comes out clean, it means it is cooked or else, place it back into the oven for another ten minutes and cook.
- Remove from the oven the final casserole and sprinkle cheese, herbs, and spices on it and bake for a minute to brown. Cool off and serve.
An easy way to conjure up an egg casserole
An egg a day can bring the body plenty of proteins and healthy fats much needed. If you do not fancy having an all veg casserole or an all meat one, you can try the delicious egg casserole, which is for the egg lovers delight. We are here to help you make an easy weasy.
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