Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas (or New Year's) Egg Bake

Who wants to spend Christmas morning making breakfast for a house full of people? Or for that matter, waking up after a night of ringing in the new year and putting together something to soothe your aching head? Usually after a night of a few too many cocktails (at least when I was able to drink!) we make a run to Panera to load up on bagels, eggs and pastries. Isn't it so much nicer to eat your own food? I am asking a lot of questions here, but the answers are simple. You don't want to cook after a night of wrapping presents. You don't want to cook after a night of drinking. And you DO want to eat a homemade breakfast!

This egg dish has been adapted over the years from a recipe my father-in-law gave me. When we would spend Christmas at his house this was always on the menu. When we started hosting Christmas at our house 4 years ago, I made sure to include this in our tradition, but changed up the original recipe. I think each year I make it, I do it differently. It is all about what ingredients you have around or suiting the tastes of your guests. My mother is a vegetarian, so every year I make two of these dishes. One full recipe that I include meat in, and one half recipe with just vegetables. I actually preferred the way my vegetarian version came out this year.

This recipe can be really really simple, or you can make it a bit more eleborate. All depends on how much time you have and how fancy you want to be. The options are endless on this all in one egg bake. Really any ingredient you would use to make an omelet with would work in this recipe. This recipe is a base for your own creativity!

Christmas Morning Egg Bake

serves 6-8

7 pieces white bread, torn into pieces (the original recipe has you remove the crust, but sometimes I just leave it on. I like it either way)
8 oz shredded cheese (the original recipe uses cheddar, I usually use "Fiesta blend" from Whole Foods for my Southwestern version, and for my veggie one this year I used crumbled feta)
6 extra large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste. I like my food well seasoned, but it also depends on the salt level of your other ingredients)
1/4 tsp pepper
6 strips cooked and crumbled bacon (this is the original recipe... for my Southwestern version I use 1 1/2 links Spanish chorizo- chopped that I cook in a bit of olive oil along with a chopped red pepper, and a small diced onion until softened)

For the vegetarian version (remember, I did a half recipe) this year I added (in lieu of the bacon or chorizo, peppers and onion) 1/2 cup chopped sun roasted tomatoes (off the Whole Foods olive bar.. the BEST!), and about 1/2 cup+ of defrosted, drained, frozen spinach.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish
Toss bread pieces and cheese together in dish

In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add meat and/or vegetables to bread and cheese and toss lightly with your hands. Pour egg mixture over bread.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350.
Bake 55-60 minutes until dish is puffed and golden.


  1. thanks for this... i'll be making it for new year's morning... i'll need it!!!

    one q, can you make it sweet instead of savory?

  2. Obviously I need to check these more often or find a way to have an alert sent when someone posts a comment!

    You absolutely could make this sweet. You could do dried fruit, or make it sweet and savory with brown sugar and bacon. Let me know if you tried and how it came out!