Several weeks ago I posted my holiday menu. I've been busy sampling recipes to decide what to fix for our holiday celebrations. Some of them were really good, and some of them needed some "tweaking." But the following recipe was SO AMAZING that I simply HAD to share it with you. (Aaron's had dreams about it 'cause it's so good! He even offered to keep track of the kiddos ANYTIME I want to make it again - which PROVES how delicious it is!) It's rare to find a breakfast casserole that tastes just as good (if not better) as left-overs ... this is one such recipe. We ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then cried when it was all gone.
Just in case you're still frantically trying to decide what to make for your Christmas Brunch, I thought I'd let you know what the Feitners are serving. I love my family, but not enough to wake up 2.5 hours before everyone else just so they can have a fabulous breakfast, so I'm gonna prepare everything the night before, and put the "layers" in individual containers, then in the morning assemble the casserole and bake. I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work with this recipe.
(The recipe and following photo are taken from Paula Deen's Christmas magazine.)
HAM, SPINACH & GRUYERE BREAD PUDDING
(Makes 8-10 servings)
1/4 cup butter
2 leeks, thinly sliced (pale green parts only)1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
1 (18 oz) loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups chopped cooked ham
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 (5 oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese
2 TB minced fresh thyme
5 large eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until leeks are tender. Add spinach, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread half of bread cubes evenly over bottom of prepared baking dish. Top evenly with half of ham. Spread half of spinach mixture evenly over ham. (I have no idea what "challah" bread is - I went to the store and bought a loaf of store-made uncut bread, and cut the whole thing into cubes.)
In a medium bowl, combine Gruyere, Parmesan and thyme (I didn't have fresh, so I used a generous sprinkling of dried). Sprinkle half of cheese mixture evenly over spinach mixture.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, and mustard. Pour half of egg mixture evenly over spinach mixture. Repeat layers, beginning with bread and ending with egg mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing bread down lightly with the back of a wooden spoon.
Preheat oven to 375.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until center is set and top is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
(My casserole - excuse the poor, unappetizing-looking photo, the lighting in the room was horrible - I'm really hoping that Santa brings me my Santa Baby camera.)