New York Breakfast Casserole

Recipe 15 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

It’s almost Christmas! And if you’re still trying to figure out what you are planning to make Christmas morning, here’s your recipe!

I will jump right into my first mistake so you don’t run into this one too. I always say to read the recipe through because I’ve had so many errors or ingredient issues when I don’t do this. Well, another thing to be mindful of is reading it from beginning to end versus just the ingredient list…I’m very guilty of that on this guy.

I mentioned in my last Resolution post that my sister was coming over to help with this guy which might have been another good reason to read it through….you know…to look like I’m not new at cooking…*sigh*…oh well.

When she arrived and I finally read the recipe I instantly had that, cold from head to toe feeling because I saw the dreaded phrase ” prepare and refrigerate overnight”…oh boy…

Oops.

Here I thought it was a quick little breakfast casserole recipe….I should have suspected! Haha…..Yeah…we were going to have to come up with a plan B. We were not waiting that long to eat.

My sister and I talked it out and realized she probably wanted overnight for the recipe so the bagles could soak up the egg mixture. We felt comfortable modifying that overnight rule a bit and taking our chances.

So, I’ll give you Deb’s recipe down below and then our modifications for our shorter wait time. Ours worked well so I feel comfortable passing it along as a doable modification.

I got was half cook and all photographer this time around which worked out great having to hold my daughter too.

This is me and her. Her Aunt can get those smiles out of her for pictures like no other.

All, that to say those are my sister’s hands in action throughout these pictures, not mine.

Review….We both really liked how this turned out and brainstormed a few ways to change it up.

For a sweeter version, we said sub out the plain and savory bagels and sub in ingredients for sweeter ones like blueberry bagles with blueberries and chocolate chips. Or cinnamon raisin bagels with raisins and nuts. Or to your savory version, layer in ham or bacon. Lots of options…I could keep going.

One of our modifications was to not use capers, because I was too cheap to go buy them and then we also skipped on the lox/ bacon she suggests serving it with. Again, mostly because I was lazy. However, my sister and I both agreed cooked bacon on top with the green onions we added would have been a really helpful flavor addition. This was still really really good but we felt like ours was missing something salty…so…like…bacon or capers…hmmmm

We let our pan sit and soak up the egg mixture for an hour and walked over to the local Boba Loca for a break and some sunshine while we waited. I love their Thai Tea there…… note to self…do a blog post on my love of Thai Tea….

When we got back we went ahead and started cooking it but unlike her directions we tried covering it since some of our bagel pieces hadn’t soaked up enough to be in the oven for the full cook time.

I used another sheet pan to cover it for the first 30 min of cooking then we took the pan off for the 2nd half hour and let the top pieces get golden and crispy.

I think we did our modifications perfectly which we all know is rare for me to say. If we had left it uncovered, it’s possible everything would have been fine but I suspect the cook time would have needed to drop. I guess we could play around with that next time. But I’m just thrilled with how it turned out.

And the green onions made a pretty garnish and added a holiday pretty to it which I thought made this a great idea for Christmas morning. We may have started a new tradition!!

Please give this guy a try! Deb is amazing for thinking of using bagels in a breakfast dish like this!


New York Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 cups bagels cut into 1 inch cubes (We used about 4 bagels from the deli, plain bagels and everything bagles)
  • 1 1/2 cups grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz cream cheese chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 medium red or white onion cubed or sliced into quarter moon lengths
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 1/3 cups milk or half-and-half
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Lox or bacon, for serving

Instructions

  1. Spread a third of the bagel cubes in a 9 by 13″ Pan or other 4 quart baking dish if necessary.
  2. Dot the bagels with a 3rd of the cream cheese bits, and mix in the red onion and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Repeat in 2 more alternating layers.
  4. Whisk eggs with, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over bagel and cheese mixture, and feel free to turn any seedy sides of the bagel croutons face up, in order to pretty up the dish.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and, refrigerate overnight, or let bagels soak up egg mixture for 1 hour before cooking if you’re making this day of.
  7. (If waiting till next morning) Remove casserole from the fridge and preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake on a tray, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until it has puffed, turn golden brown, and cooked through (A knife inserted into the center of the casserole and rotated slightly shouldn’t release any liquid), 1 to 1 hour and 15 min. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.
  8. (If only waiting 1 hour) follow directions for oven temperature, sheet pan use and oven placement, but instead of cooking uncovered, cover with a 2nd sheet pan or foil for the first 30 min of cooking. For last 30-45 min finish uncovered and check for donness as she indicates in step 7 at the 1 hour mark/30 minutes into your uncovered cooking time.
  9. To serve, scoop casserole and add a sprinkle of capers with a side of lox or bacon…or keep it vegetarian and use other garnish like we did with our green onions.

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