Thursday, December 25, 2014

Chorizo and Spinach Breakfast Casserole

The best Christmas breakfast is the kind you make the night before.  Or at least mostly make the night before.  Right before you have too much to drink the night before.  Trust me, this works.  Then, on Christmas morning, you pull the pan out of the fridge and push it into the oven.  An hour or so later you have warm cheesy goodness.  Right about the time your first cup of coffee is wearing off.  Slap some extra salsa on for lingering hangovers.

Chorizo and Spinach Breakfast Casserole

10 cups Italian bread cubes (1-inch cubes)
1 (16-ounce) chub Jimmy Dean chorizo
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 roasted Hatch peppers, seeded and chopped, or 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (8-ounce) package finely shredded Cheddar cheese
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups whole milk
1½ teaspoons Spike seasoning
Sour cream and salsa, to serve

In a greased 9x13-inch baking dish, evenly distribute the bread cubes.

In a skillet, cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbles.  Pour off any grease and discard.  Add the fresh spinach to the cooked chorizo and stir until the spinach is wilted.  Evenly spread the chorizo mixture over the bread cubes.  Scatter the green chilies over the chorizo and then sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese.

Mix together the eggs, milk, and seasoning.  Pour over the bread/chorizo mixture.  Push down on the bread lightly to make sure all of the mixture is immersed in the egg.  Cover with foil and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake the casserole for 1 hour, covered.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes to let brown slightly.  The casserole should have puffed up.  Check the center of the casserole with a knife to ensure that the egg is completely cooked before removing from the oven.  Serve warm with sour cream and salsa on the side.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

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