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A flexible casserole is just the thing for holiday brunch

Brunch is a great way to host an informal meal for friends this holiday season … and gives you the freedom of planning a menu that is not breakfast or lunch.

Start with an egg casserole that is made a day ahead of your brunch, then pop it into the oven before your guests arrive so your house smells wonderful. Today I will share my favourite brunch casserole recipe, which you can make your own by using ingredients you love. Try Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese or substitute sliced sausage for the ham. Any kind of bread can be used – stale bread or buns that are lurking in your freezer can be put to good use here. If you are using odd bits of bread you will be estimating the amount so be prepared to make that decision.

To complete your brunch menu, add oven-baked potato wedges and a green salad; an array of fresh fruit and cinnamon buns or fancy muffins. Oh, and lots and lots of hot coffee!

 

Ham and Cheese Brunch Casserole

 

(Makes 2 – 13”x9” pans)

 

2 loaves (1 lb. ea.) Italian bread cut into 1” cubes

6 cups fully cooked ham, cubed

1-1/2 lbs. old cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green or red pepper, chopped

1/4 cup butter

16 eggs

7 cups milk

1/2 cup prepared mustard

1 tbsp. chicken soup base

1/2 tsp. black pepper

 

Combine bread, ham and cheese in a large bowl.

Sauté onion, peppers and butter until tender. Cool, then add to bread mixture.

Beat eggs, add remaining ingredients.

Pour egg mixture over bread mixture and mix well.

Divide between two greased 13”x9” baking pans.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Bake covered at 350º for 55-65 minutes or until centre is set. If you want a crispy top, uncover for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Serves 20-24 people. Leftovers are good reheated!

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