Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Croissant Breakfast Pudding

A little late in posting this one, but I made this breakfast casserole for a Chloe birthday/Mother's Day brunch. It was quite good and not difficult to make, though there are a number of steps. I assembled it the night before, which made it easy the next day. Don't want to be slaving in the kitchen too long on Mother's Day!

Croissant Breakfast Pudding
Source: Emeril Lagasse via Food Network

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
6 ounces Canadian bacon, roughly chopped (I used regular bacon)
6 ounces hot sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
8 large eggs (I used Egg Beaters)
3 cups whole milk (I used skim)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 stale croissants, torn into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
2 cups grated Fontina or Gouda
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes.

In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add the sausage to the skillet and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, cream, salt, Essence, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the croissants and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the sausage, bacon, onions, Fontina cheese, stir together, and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into the prepared dish and bake until almost completely set, 35 to 45 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if it's browning too much.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and melted butter. Uncover the pudding and evenly cover with the bread crumb mixture. Return to the oven, increase the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until completely set in the center and golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Serve hot.

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

With my mom out of town for a week, my dad and sister have been eating out every night. So last night we had them over for dinner. The weather was not cooperating to grill out so I logged on to AllRecipes.com and stumbled across this dish, which is amongst the most highly rated recipes on the cooking board I frequent. It was easy to make and very flavorful, therefore a hit in my house. I even managed not to dry out the chicken breasts too badly, which I tend to do.

In an attempt to make sure the bottom of the chicken didn't get too soggy, I put cooling racks on a cookie sheet and baked the chicken on top of that. I don't know that it worked any better than putting the chicken directly on the cookie sheet, but it can't hurt.

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

Source: AllRecipes.com

1/2 cup butter (I used olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs (I used Italian)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I used a lite cheese blend)
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and cook the garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt. Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter to coat, then press into the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining butter and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. I then added a bit more cheese to the top and broiled the chicken for a few minutes.