Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Farmer's Breakfast Casserole

I made this Farmer's Breakfast Casserole for the first of a series of breakfasts that I catered for a friend's family over the course of her brother's wedding weekend. By all accounts, this was a big hit. Even though I never sampled the finished product or even got a picture of the finished product, I knew that it would be delicious. This breakfast casserole is packed with good stuff. It's like an "everything" omelette!

Although I don't remember doing so, I tore this recipe for Farmer's Breakfast Casserole out of the February 1996 edition of Better Homes and Garden's magazine and placed it in my recipe files. In February of 1996 I turned 19. I was a freshman at Purdue University and a Political Science/Agriculture Economics double major. I lived in a tiny 5th floor dorm room with a difficult roommate. I had just pledged my sorority and broken up with my hometown boyfriend. I was having fun with my new "sisters" (hiding out from the crazy roomie and going to frat parties) and trying to find a balance in my life between party girl and responsible student. With all of that going on, I guess I just never got around to making this. Now I'm a "retired" high school Family and Consumer Science (Home Ec) teacher and the stay-at-home mother of two. February of 1996 seems like a lifetime ago. But apparently I had good taste in recipes, even then.

When I was flipping through my recipe files, choosing options to present to my friend for the weekend menu for her family and the bridesmaids, this recipe jumped out at me. We both agreed that it sounded delicious...but she wanted to add more veggies. The original recipe only called for green onion. I couldn't agree more. She suggested green peppers and mushrooms. I took notes. Then I went shopping and realized that zucchini would be really nice here too. Some fresh diced tomato would work well also, although I didn't add any this time. That's what I love about almost any recipe, you can really make it your own, adding seasonal ingredients and adjusting to the tastes of those who will eat it. The original recipe did inspire me, but I pretty much left it by the wayside as I created this breakfast casserole.

I decided that I would saute the requested green pepper with some sweet onion until both were tender.

I mixed the sauteed onions and peppers with 3 cups of prepared hash browns. Then I spread the mixture into the bottom of a greased (I used cooking spray) 9 X 13 inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Then I chopped a zucchini and sliced 4-6 oz. of fresh mushrooms and distributed them over the hashbrowns. You can give this another light dusting of salt and pepper if you like.

Next, chop up 1 cup of Canadian bacon and sprinkle that over the zucchini and mushrooms.

Now for the cheese! I went with shredded cheddar. I think that this is about a cup...or more.

Next, I mixed together 6 eggs, a 12 oz can of evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of "regular" milk, and a little sprinkle of salt and pepper.

I poured the egg mixture over all of that good stuff in the casserole dish, then covered it and put in into the fridge for the night.

This dish bakes at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until the center is set. Unfortunately, I wasn't around when the casserole was served, so I don't have a picture of the finished product. Guess I'll just have to make it again so that I can taste it myself. : )

Here's the recipe:

Farmer's Breakfast Casserole

3 cups shredded hash brown potatoes
1/2 of a large sweet onion, diced
1/2 of a green pepper, diced
cooking oil of choice
1 small zucchini, chopped
4-6 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Canadian bacon, diced
3/4- 1 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Jack, whatever...)
6 eggs
1-12 oz can evaporated milk
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray a 9 X 13 inch casserole dish. Heat oil in a skillet. Saute onion and green pepper in the skillet until tender. Mix with hash browns. Spread the hash brown mixture evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Salt and pepper. Top with zucchini, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, and cheese. Mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together until frothy. Pour over the ingredients in the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes until the center is set.

For a printable copy of this recipe, please click here.


theUngourmet said...

Your college days sound like lots of fun! This breakfast casserole looks like a great way to jazz up a weekend breakfast. I can't wait to to try it out on my family.

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

I can't believe you held on to a recipe that long! And I love how you said "difficult roommate." LOL... The breakfast casserole sounds good - never thought to add mushrooms, but that's a good thought!

Kim said...

Life sure is completely different going from a young single gal to a married stay at home mom. So cute that you were clipping recipes back in 96'. Love it!

You did a great job of ramping this up with veggies. I can see why it was such a hit. It's definitely a great way to wake up.

Desi said...

Yay a great breakfast recipe! Sounds like a keeper :) Funny how times change but recipes are still great nearly 15 years later!

Heather S-G said...

Some recipes are just keepers! This sounds delicious...love all the goodness packed inside. Ahhhhh, college...how I miss thee. sometimes. kinda ;)

Mad Men Girl said...

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If you don't mind taking two seconds to vote for me, please go to my blog or use the link below, which takes you right to my photo page.


Thanks so much!

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