Breakfast Club Casseroles: Ham & Green Chilé Strata and Broccoli & Mushroom Frittata

I love my job and the people I work with.  The job is full of challenge and opportunity and the people are dedicated, interesting, creative and talented.  One of the ways we connect in the office is via a weekly Breakfast Club.  Membership is optional, and here’s how it works:  you bring enough breakfast for everyone when it is your turn, and for all the other weeks, you get to enjoy a nice breakfast provided by one of your colleagues.  So, if there are 18 members, I just have to bring breakfast once every 18 weeks, and show up hungry the other 17.  Nice!

Recently, two of us thought it was our turn to bring breakfast, and one of us was wrong  (me.)  We had a feast that week.

I ended up bringing breakfast two weeks in a row because of that snafu, and thought it would be a perfect time to capture my efforts for the blog.  I made up two breakfast casserole recipes:  Ham & Green Chilé Strata and Broccoli & Mushroom Frittata.  The frittata was created for a visiting colleague, who is a vegetarian.

Both of these casseroles can be prepared the night before and cooked in the morning.

Ready for baking: both casseroles were prepared at night and cooked in the morning; for transporting, cover in foil and put them in a cooler to keep them warm
Ready for baking: both casseroles were prepared at night and cooked in the morning; for transporting after baking, cover in foil and put them in a cooler to keep them warm

These casseroles would be excellent breakfast dishes for Christmas or Thanksgiving, when the relatives are hungry but the big main event meal isn’t going to happen until late afternoon.

Ham & Green Chilé Strata

Ingredients

  • 6 slices thickly cut bread, cubed; I used Jalapeño-Cheese bread from the Tomball farmer’s market
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Peppers
    A variety of peppers adds color and spice

    1/2 cup of chopped red onion

  • 1 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers (one very large, two medium or 3-4 small)
  • Optional:  jalapeno or other hot pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1 lb. of chopped ham (about 3 cups)

    I took a shortcut with two 8 oz. packages of already-diced ham
    I took a shortcut with two 8 oz. packages of already-diced ham
  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (I used Colby-Jack, but Pepper Jack would be great, and cheddar would be fine, too)
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced green chilis, drained (I used the hot variety, but mild is ok)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

Cubing and toasting the bread makes a nice crusty foundation for the Ham & Green Chile Strata
Cubing and toasting the bread makes a nice crusty foundation for the Ham & Green Chile Strata

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread cubed bread on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake until the cubes are toasted, about 4-5 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350 (unless you are planning to bake your casserole in the morning, in which case you can turn the oven off).  Arrange bread cubes in a large casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.  (I used a 15×10 Pyrex dish, but 13×9 would also work.)

I like to use a variety of peppers to add color to the dish
Saute the onion and peppers until they are just soft

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onion and bell pepper unit they are just soft, adding the oregano and celery salt.  Set aside.

Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium until the eggs are beaten.  Add the ham, half-and-half, chilés, shredded cheese, the rest of the seasonings and the sautéed onions and peppers, and mix until blended.  (This can all be accomplished in a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer, and the eggs can be beaten by hand.)

Optional step to ensure that you will love the taste of the final product:  put a tablespoon of your egg mixture in a small ramekin and microwave it for about 20 seconds, until the egg is set.  Cool for a moment and taste.  Add seasonings to the egg mixture to suit your taste.

Pour the egg mixture over the cubed bread, add a little more freshly ground pepper on top.  At this point, you can go ahead and bake the strata, or cover and refrigerate it until morning.   Bake for 40+ minutes at 350, until the eggs are set.  (The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the casserole dish.)  Let cool and serve.


Broccoli and Mushroom Frittata for Anne

Ingredients

  • Potatoes2 baked potatoes, skin on (click here for quick instructions on baking a potato in the microwave), sliced
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 head of fresh broccoli, steamed, drained and chopped, or 1 box frozen broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 large slices of french bread, torn into small pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

IMG_0782Preheat oven to 350 degrees (unless you plan to refrigerate the casserole overnight and bake it in the morning). Spray a 13×9 casserole with cooking spray.

Arrange the potato slices in the casserole dish and sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Arrange the broccoli and olives atop the potato slices
Arrange the broccoli and olives atop the potato slices

Distribute the steamed broccoli pieces and olives on top of the potatoes.

Sautéing the mushrooms gives them a beautiful mahogany color and brings out their woodsy taste
Sautéing the mushrooms gives them a beautiful mahogany color and brings out their woodsy taste

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onion and mushrooms unit they are just soft.  Set aside.  Arrange the torn pieces of french bread on top of the broccoli and olives.

Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium until the eggs are beaten.  Add the half-and-half,  shredded cheese, the rest of the seasonings and the cooled mushroom mixture, and mix until blended.  (This can all be accomplished in a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer, and the eggs can be beaten by hand.)

Optional step to ensure that you will love the taste of the final product: put a tablespoon of your egg mixture in a small ramekin and microwave it for about 20 seconds, until the egg is set. Cool for a moment and taste. Add seasonings to the egg mixture to suit your taste.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bread and add a little more freshly ground pepper on top. At this point, you can go ahead and bake the frittata, or cover and refrigerate it until morning. Bake for 35+ minutes at 350, until the eggs are set. (The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the casserole dish.) Let cool and serve.

Broccoli & Mushroom Strata
The finished Broccoli and Mushroom Strata, a nice vegetarian breakfast casserole
A little of each casserole made for a hearty breakfast at work
A little of each casserole made for a hearty breakfast at work

2 thoughts on “Breakfast Club Casseroles: Ham & Green Chilé Strata and Broccoli & Mushroom Frittata

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