Friday, June 1, 2012

Eggs Benedict Casserole


     There are several theories as to the origin of Eggs Benedict, one is where a Wall Street banker wandered into the Waldorf hotel in New York and asked for a cure for his hangover ordering, "buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise."  Another gives credit to Mrs. Le Grand Benedict who suggested the recipe to the maitre d'hotel at Delmonico's and let's not forget Commodore E.C. Benedict who was given the recipe from his mother.  Wherever it got it's start, it's considered the ultimate in breakfast food and something usually saved for special occasions and leisurely Sunday brunches. 
     This recipe from Christmas With Southern Living 2010 is an easy and dutch oven friendly way of combining the flavors and textures in one simple casserole.  It's basically an egg strata, do ahead dish that requires an overnight sit in your fridge.  I shortened the sit time to 30 minutes.  If you're at home, by all means, mix it in a large bowl and let it sit for 4-12 hours so the bread can completely soak up the egg mixture.  If you're cooking outside, just let it sit for a half hour in your oven, the bread will absorb plenty of the liquid.  In my 10 inch oven, I started it with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 22 on the lid.  After 20 minutes it was starting to brown on top so I removed the center coals and let it finish baking with the briquettes in a ring around the outside of the lid.  This actually might bake better in your 12 inch oven as it puffs like a souffle and it needs a good 45 minutes to bake completely through.
      Top it off with your favorite Hollandaise recipe, I used Knorr's in a package.  If you can find one that only requires water it would be that much easier for camping.  Better yet, Trader Joe's makes one in a jar, it's not quite the same but is good in a pinch and would be great warmed up and served outdoors.  So, no excuses now not to treat yourself to a luxurious breakfast when you're away from home. 

Eggs Benedict Casserole
1 12 oz. package English muffins, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. Canadian bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Packaged Hollandaise sauce

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Combine muffin pieces and Canadian bacon in prepared dutch oven.
     Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
     Pour egg mixture over muffin pieces; let casserole sit for 30 minutes.
     If you're at home or have access to refrigeration, allow bread mixture to sit for 4-12 hours before baking.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes moving center coals if necessary to prevent center from burning.
     Makes 4-6 servings. 
     Top off with your favorite Hollandaise recipe.

Allow casserole to sit for at least 30 minutes before baking

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Serve with Hollandaise and a sprinkling of chives

  

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