breakfast is served

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Posted on December 14, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten

I’m not sure about you, but with a houseful over the holidays breakfast can really throw me for a loop. It doesn’t matter how well prepared I am, it’s as if the clock moves double time. I never quite get it together, and then all of a sudden, my ho ho ho begins to slip into a mumbled bah humbug.

I am always on the quest to turn the first holiday meal of the day around.

That’s why I was thrilled to discover this bagel breakfast casserole in my Smitten Kitten cookbook. You can prepare it well in advance, especially since it must spend the night in the frig overnight. Just wake up, preheat the oven, and pop it in for up to an hour and a half. With so little effort it’s as if your very own kitchen has been transformed into a toasty New York City bagel shop. 

For this bagel breakfast casserole begin with eight cups bagels cut into 1-inch cubes (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds as bagels vary greatly in size).

8 ounces cream cheese, chilled, cut into irregular small cubes.

1/4 medium red onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced into quarter-moons.

1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or quartered if large.

Butter a 9x13 pan. Spread a third of the bagel cubes on the bottom. Dot the bagels with a third of the cream cheese cubes. Mix in one-third of the red onion and cherry tomatoes. Repeat two more times alternating layers. Whisk the eggs with milk, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the egg mixture over bagel- and- cheese mixture. Turn any seedy sides of the bagel croutons faceup. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the casserole and bake on a tray, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until it has puffed, turned golden brown, and cooked through (a knife inserted into the center of the casserole and rotated slightly shouldn’t release any liquid), for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving. 

Serve on plates in big scoops with folded smoked salmon slices on the side sprinkled with capers.

This do-ahead breakfast is truly one of the best presents you can give yourself this holiday season.

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