Holidays With Honey – Christmas Morning Casserole

sausage cheese strata

It probably isn’t surprising that cooking is a big part of Christmas in my family. After my children grew older, Christmas breakfast became really special. After we open presents, we sit down for a cozy meal with lots of chat and tea. It’s the best part of the day. 

We’ve had this spicy casserole for the past few years because it can be made ahead and cooked while we are opening presents. This year our darling Lucy will be able to eat some too!

photo (9)

Yield:  serves 4

Ingredients

5 Slices thickly-sliced white bread – crusts and all, buttered & cubed.

1 pound of mild sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained.

3 cups of grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon of hot sauce.

Directions

Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the bread cubes in the casserole. Evenly distribute the sausage over the bread cubes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, honey and hot sauce and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the casserole from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes while you pre-heat the over to 350. Remove the plastic wrap, place the casserole in the over and bake for 1 hour.

Southern Squash Casserole With Honey

Summer is the perfect time to make this casserole.  The squash is fresh (maybe from your garden?) and its flavor is at its peak. This makes a lovely vegetarian supper when paired with a green salad with vinaigrette!

3 pounds yellow squash, sliced

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided

1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

20 round buttery crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

Cook squash in boiling water to cover in a large skillet 8 to 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain well; gently press between paper towels.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Remove skillet from heat; stir in squash, cheese, and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir together melted butter and crushed crackers; sprinkle evenly over top of casserole.
Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until set.

Derby Week Recipes – Garlic Cheese Grits And Spinach Souffle

cheese grits and spinach

I was raised on cheese grits casserole.  While I love the original, I also love this updated version!!

Ingredients:

1½ teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
3 2/3 cups milk (not skim)
1 cup stone-ground or old-fashioned grits
Salt and black pepper
1½ cups grated sharp cheddar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
6 ounces baby spinach leaves (7½ cups loosely packed)
6 scallions thinly sliced (2/3 cup), 1 tablespoon reserved

Directions:

Grease a 2-quart souffle dish with 1½ teaspoons butter, dust with 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and set aside.

In a medium non-stick saucepan bring the milk and the 2 tablespoons of butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add the grits in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until grits are thick and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when you stir, 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 1¼ cups of the cheddar, the remaining Parmesan, garlic, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Taste the grits and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring vigorously to incorporate each before adding the next. Stir in the spinach by handfuls.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks. Add a quarter of the whites to the grits mixture and, using a spatula, stir until just combined. Add remaining whites and rapidly but gently fold them in along with the scallions.

Spoon the batter into the prepared dish, smooth, sprinkle with the remaining cheddar, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking until the souffle is puffed, golden brown, and barely jiggles when you shake the pan, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Sprinkle with reserved scallions and serve at once.