Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas breakfast

So many of our Christmas traditions involve food: baking cookies, stirring up a batch of chocolate fudge, sipping a favorite holiday punch, sitting around the table at Grandma’s house sharing turkey and the trimmings on Christmas Day.

Many of us have Christmas morning breakfast traditions as well, whether it’s cinnamon rolls or a cheesy sausage and egg casserole.

For a number of years, Daddy made scrambled sausage and eggs on Christmas morning, and I’ve made the same at my house a few times. I’ve done several other things at my house as well from casseroles to a delicious cinnamon coffee cake that sits in the refrigerator overnight and is ready to bake while the family opens presents.

If you don’t have a tradition of your own, you might want to try a new breakfast casserole that I’ve made several times in recent months — once for breakfast and other times for dinner. The casserole is simple enough — made with sausage, grits, cheese, milk and eggs — and takes about 10 minutes to assemble.

I was not a big fan of grits until the last year or two, so this casserole wouldn’t have caught my attention before now. But I started seeing a number of versions of grits casseroles in cookbooks and decided to make one myself.

I don’t like a lot cheese in egg dishes, so I cut the amount of Cheddar cheese in half — from a whopping four cups to two cups (which is still a lot for me!) I also used turkey sausage instead of pork sausage, and to make the recipe even easier purchased sausage crumbles that were already cooked and ready to mix in my casserole. When I make grits, I use the instant kind in the little pouches, so I did the same for this recipe, making four pouches of grits.

You can add a number of spices and seasonings into this dish — including garlic powder and thyme — but I prefer the recipe as I’ve written it here.

This casserole is wonderful comfort food, whether you serve it for lunch, brunch or dinner. Prepare a pan of hash browns or tater tots and serve with a bowl of fresh fruit and toast with jelly, and you’ll have a satisfying meal.

If you have any leftovers, the casserole is delicious warmed up in the microwave the next day.

Cheesy grits and sausage casserole
  • 1 1/2 packages (9.6 oz. each) turkey sausage crumbles (I use Jimmy Dean)
  • 4 pouches of grits (or grits for 4 servings) prepared according to package directions
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir cheese into hot, cooked grits until the cheese melts. Whisk eggs and stir into other ingredients; add milk and stir until combined.

Pour into casserole dish, which has been prepared with baking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes until cooked through.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this one. I've only done the one with frozen hash browns, but my hubby's a former Wilson County boy who loves, loves, loves grits. So next time we're in Wilson, I'm going to stop in at Piggly Wiggly for some T.L. Herring sausage (another fave of his).
    Thanks! This is gonna be gooood! :)