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201110February

Tasty and dependable egg casserole

Egg casserole

Egg casseroles are one of those triple threat brunch recipes.
They’re inexpensive,
taste great and
can be made ahead of time.
(The J Lo of brunch casseroles!)

And although, unlike J-Lo, egg casseroles aren’t the fanciest dishes on the brunch table, they’re dependable.
The work horse of the brunch table. The tasty work horse of the brunch table.
Wait, this is all coming out wrong.

There are certainly more expensive brunch recipes,
there are also easier brunch recipes.
But you want something tasty and dependable.
And inexpensive.

This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated’s, “The New Best Recipe.” A book I recommend if you want every. single. recipe you try to turn out tasty and dependable.

Our little family of four ate 3/4 of this casserole. If you’re making it for a crowd, double the ingredients and bake in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Tasty and dependable Egg Casserole

Ingredients:
10 1/2 inch thick slices French or Italian bread from the bakery section of your grocery store
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium sweet onion, minced
1 bag baby spinach
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc (I use Sutter Home)
6 ounces Jack cheese, shredded, 1/2 cup of that reserved
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cups half and half

Directions:
Put the slices of bread out on the counter overnight OR you can bake it for 40 minutes at 225° F, flipping once. When the bread has cooled or you’re ready to build your casserole, butter the slices on one side with 2 tablespoons of the butter and put them aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat.
Sauté the onions until you can see through them and they smell good.
(about 3 minutes)

Add spinach and salt and pepper and cook until a gloppy wilty spinachy mess, about 2 minutes.
Take the spinach mixture to a bowl, set it aside with the bread.

Add the wine to the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer for 2 minutes.
Set a timer, I’ve been known to burn the wine.

Butter an 8 inch square baking dish with the rest (1 tablespoon) of the butter.
Set half the bread slices buttered-side up in a one layer in the dish. I’ve been known to cut the bread into smaller pieces to make it fit better.

Divide the spinach mixture in half.
Remove 1/2 cup grated cheese from the cheese pile.
Distribute the spinach over the bread and then the cheese.

Arrange the rest of the bread in one layer over the cheese.
Distribute the remaining spinach mixture and another 1/2 cup cheese on the bread.

In a medium bowl (the one you just took the spinach out of), whisk the eggs with the cooked wine, the half and half, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Pour that gloppy egg mixture over the bread and spinach and cheese layers.
Cover the surface with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.

Ready to cook?
Let’s go.

Remove the dish from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about a half hour while the oven preheats to 325°. Sprinkle that reserved 1/2 cup cheese over the top.

Put the square baking dish on a large baking pan so that the egg doesn’t slosh on the floor of your oven.
Bake the dish until the edges and middle of the casserole are puffed, slightly browned and sides have pulled away a bit from the dish, about an hour.

Cool on a rack or your stove top for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tasty, dependable.
Yum.

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