Considering Casseroles.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something … Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.*

 

Breakfast for dinner casserole.

 

Can a casserole be considered creative?

I say, if it renders everyone a) speechless or b) leaves them only able to mutter “mms” and other yummy sounds, it can be!

 

This is such a casserole.

Simple ingredients, easily thrown together at the end of a long and busy day, that results in yummy noises and a happy, full, family.

Easy-peasy!

 

Here are the things I connected:

EVOO

Frozen Hashbrowns (the little diced ones)(I’m sure the shredded ones would work, too.)

Dehydrated Onion Flakes

S & P

Eggs

Onion Powder

Cream

Grated Cheddar (I used a pre-shredded three cheese blend)

1 Roma tomato (seeded and diced)

1 Red pepper (also seeded and diced)

Sausages (cooked) (I used a Gluten Free brand called Cavicchis’ Meats)

 

Here is how I connected them:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Into a 9 x 13 pan (I use a glass one) add about a table spoon of olive oil and coat the bottom and sides. (I have a teeny silicone brush for this task and it works well.)

Immediately add the frozen hash browns to the pan. (You can use a lot or a little of any of the above ingredients in this recipe, by the way. It’s difficult to get it wrong. Tonight I used an entire 900 g bag because everyone was really hungry.)

Add some freshly ground black pepper and a teensy bit of kosher salt (careful with the salt!).

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of dehydrated onion flakes over the hash browns.

Next, break your eggs (Tonight I used 9, but you can adjust according to your own needs.) and beat them together (with a fork – oh yeah, fancy!) with a bit of pepper and onion powder (trust me..) and cream. You want the consistency you’d be expecting for scrambled eggs, so adjust egg:cream ratio as needed.)

To the beaten eggs, add a cup of cheese (or a handful.. or as much as you’d like.. or need.. or are limited to) and blend.

Add your peppers and tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the hash browns.

Top with the cooked and sliced sausages, spreading the pieces evenly over the casserole.

Don’t be concerned if it seems like the eggs have vanished because they will fluff/rise up nicely while the casserole bakes for the next 30-45 minutes in the middle of your preheated oven.

 

I use my nose and my eyes a lot in my kitchen. When it starts to smell like supper, you’ll know you are almost there.

When the hash browns are browning (Hello! They’re hash browns.) on the bottom of the pan (score one for the see through glass pan!) it’s time to turn the oven off.

The centre should be set. (No jiggly casseroles, please and thank you!)

Allow it to cool a little bit, and while it does, the kids can help set the table, so *everyone* gets to sit down to a scrumptious, simple supper – together.

 

Are you pro casserole or do you prefer your foods stick to their separate quarters on your plate?

Leave a comment and tell me about one of your creations that just works.

Oh, and if you try this let me know what you think of it!

 

 

 

 

*Source: Wired: UK, 2011, Steve Jobs: A Wired Life, reprinted from “The Next Insanely Great Thing” by Gary Wolf, Wired 4.02, February 1996

Huevos Rancheros – It’s like Brinner in a sombrero!

Last night was Huevos Rancheros night on the “Tex-Mex Week” menu and it went even better than expected.

Breakfast for dinner, or “Brinner”, is always a popular meal at Chez Peady and it (conveniently) seems to fall, most often, mid-week, which is exactly when I need the break – and I mean I need a break, fast (Hah!) – of a simple supper. Since it is Tex-Mex Week, and on a Wednesday, Huevos Rancheros was the logical choice!

Now there are a lot of really fancy ways* to make this extremely simple dish, but remember that break I needed… yes, I had places to go and people to see. In fact there was an especially good reason for me to choose a simple and speedy approach to last night’s dinner. There  was a thing at a place with some stuff** and well, I had to be there – on time!

Once again, the goal was to offer a delicious, healthy meal that everyone would enjoy. Since we have one tomato lover and one tomato tolerator, I decided to make the components separately and allow each diner to customize Brinner to his or her liking. This is what works best for my family, generally speaking, but especially on an evening when I am pressed for time. The last thing I want is to have to have a discussion about trying new things, when all I really am trying to do is bolt. (Should I wait here for all the parenting awards? Or…?)

Not surprisingly, Thing 1 and Thing 2 tried everything, anyway. Thing 1 *loves* this meal. There were lots of spicy, bold flavours and that’s what he enjoys. Thing 2 tried the Chorizo and decided it was a tad too hot for her taste, but piled on lots of fresh tomato. So, it’s really just another case of “To each, his/her own”. In the end, everyone was full, happy, and I wasn’t too late for my thing.

Here is what it all looked like!

 

Huevos Rancheros Wednesday was wonderful!

Have you ever had Huevos Rancheros? Do you enjoy breakfast for dinner? Do you call it “Brinner”? What is your go-to breakfast for dinner? What would be on your ideal breakfast for dinner menu?

 

*Like this, this, this or this!

**I had to be at an event at Thing 2’s school at 7 to hear a talk given by a person who has helped Thing 1 immensely. I was *not* going to miss it!