Nothing exceeds like excess for the holidays. I just hate it that there are already Christmas decorations in the stores. I’ll Be Home For Christmas will start playing on the department store P.A. systems any day now I’m sure. But my friend, Heather, asked me for a great holiday casserole recipe and I’m going to give you the Mac Daddy of breakfast casseroles. It comes from Emeril Lagasse and he uses linquica in it, but I use Mexican chorizo (the kind of sausage you have to take out of the casing before you fry it). This thing has it all – cream, butter, sour cream and wine! Yes, wine for breakfast! I didn’t know Emeril was an Episcopalian. Episcopalians have wine and beer in the church refrigerator at all times. You never know when you might need a little pick-me-up. And we serve real wine at communion. Praise the Lord!
But I digress. I’ve made this for church breakfasts more times than I can count and it’s always a huge hit. With all the credit in the world to Emeril Lagasse, here it is:
Creole Breakfast Bread Pudding
- 1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from the casing
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onions
- 1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 8 cups day-old French bread, torn into 1-inch cubes
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 8 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 pound pepper jack, grated
- 1/2 pound monterey jack, grated
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, removed from the casing, and cook until starting to brown and the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Add the onions and bell peppers, and saute until soft, 3 minutes. Add the green onions and stir well. Add the white wine and reduce slightly, stirring, about 1 minute over high heat. Remove from the heat.
Place the bread in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and cream and stir well. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Pour the melted butter into a 10 by 13-inch casserole dish, and coat the sides and bottom evenly. Pour any extra butter into the bread mixture.
Add the sausage mixture to the bread mixture. Add the eggs, grated cheeses, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and quickly fold mixture together. Place mixture in casserole. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Spread the sour cream evenly over the top and cover with grated Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the casserole is lightly browned on top.