November 21, 2011

Breakfast Casseroles Rock

Tomorrow we're having a potluck at work, which generally is a minefield of culinary disasters when we're talking gluten avoidance.   I have the good fortune to work with some really awesome people who understand my food *quirk* and seem to humor me at times, bringing fresh veggies, cheese cubes, chips and salsa, and other GF yummies for our team potlucks.  My personal contribution to our potlucks (better known as "Eat Days" in our office) used to be any number of homemade baked goods - fresh breads, cinnamon rolls, etc... or even the occasional breakfast casserole made with brioche or baguette.  No more, my friends.  Now I have to think about my dear friend Gluten and his buddies Stomach Cramp and Fatigue.  Bah.  And so I've re-formulated my breakfast casserole recipes, and I think I've hit upon a successful and delicious option that will please gluten-avoiders and gluten-eaters alike - a Western omelet for a crowd.

Western Omelet Breakfast Casserole

1 bag (20 ounces) refrigerated shredded potatoes
2 bell peppers - any color - diced
1 medium to large sweet onion, diced
8-10 ounces cooked ham, diced  (turkey ham works well here, too)
8-10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 dozen eggs
1-1/2 cups 2% or whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

In a greased 9x13 casserole, spread the potatoes in an even layer, then set aside.
in a large skillet, saute the peppers and onions in butter until softened - about 6-8 minutes.  Spread evenly over the potatoes in the casserole dish.
Saute the diced ham for a few minutes - just to pick up some of the brown crumblies on the bottom of the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, salt, and peppers.  Pour over the contents of the casserole dish, then sprinkle all of this with the shredded cheddar.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour, or until the eggs are "set".   Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes before serving.  Serve with salsa or Tabasco sauce, if desired.

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