Friday, June 3, 2011

Harris Family Breakfast Casserole

We spent Memorial Day weekend at the lakehouse with my parents and my sister, her husband and their precious son Jackson (9 months old!). We spend pretty much every Memorial Day together: 2006 Jeanie and Andy's wedding in Mexico (Bunker was my date), Bunker's and my wedding in 2007, other family friend weddings in 2008 and 2009, and last year we went to Pinehurst together to celebrate Bunker's graduation from Fuqua (Duke MBA).

Pinehurst 2010

We also had five dogs in one house for the weekend at the lake (my parent's beagle Jack, our two girls the beagle Cort and the Golden-Cava-Doodle puppy Shafer, and Jeanie and Andy's two boy Yorkies George and Henry). All of the dogs did just wonderfully together, however, George was a bit too affectionate towards Shafer, Henry did steal all of the puppy toys, Shafer was pretty skeptical of everyone until Monday, Cort gave Jackson kisses the whole weekend and Jack (the elder of the group) pretty much ignored all of the other dogs and Jackson. Needless to say, it was an active weekend, and everyone was sleepy by Monday!

Last year at Jeanie and Andy's...the cousins together (before Shafer joined the family)! (Cort, Henry and George)

When we go to the lake, we eat very nicely. My mom always prepares way to much food for fear that someone might have even the tiniest rumble in their tummy that cannot be satisfied. We all contribute in some way or another, whether that be helping to prepare the meals, clean up, set the table, bring part of the meal from home, or at least just enjoy the deliciousness! Andy Harris (my brother-in-law....really more like the brother I finally got 23 years late when he and my sister Jeanie got married) decided to share one of his family recipes with us for breakfast. The boys had a 10 a.m. tee time for golf, so they needed a big breakfast to get them through the round, and this casserole did the trick! Bunker and Andy put the casserole together the night before and then popped it in the oven that morning for a hearty and delicious treat! It was so cute watching them work together in the kitchen, and so fun to have brothers-in-law that are actually fantastic friends.

Andy is from Clarksdale, Mississippi, aka, "The Delta." It is a beautiful part of the country and a very different place from Dallas. Time really does seem to slow down a bit there; perhaps it is due to their unmistakable accents, perhaps the gorgeous old trees and homes, perhaps their deeply entrenched Southern manners, perhaps the food? I am not sure, but I am certainly glad Andy is in our lives so that we can have a touch of "The Delta" in our lives.

Without further ado: my guest blog post from Andy Harris (which I am actually writing)

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You will need a 13 x 9 casserole dish
12 eggs
12 slices of bread
3 cups of cheese (I suppose whatever you have on hand will work...they used cheddar here)
2 pounds of hot sausage
4 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
2 teaspoons of salt
pepper to taste

1. Brown the sausage.
2. Drain the grease from the sausage using a slotted spoon or paper towels.
3. Cube the bread slices. (They just used standard sliced bread from the store but feel free to use whatever you like, a brioche would be a sweet compliment to the spicy sausage.)
4. In your 13 x 9 casserole dish, evenly layer half of the bread cubes in the casserole dish.
5. Cover the layer of bread with a layer of half of the cooked sausage.
6. Cover the layer of sausage with a layer of half of the cheese.
7. Repeat the layering of the bread, sausage and cheese with the half of everything that remains.
8. In a separate bowl, beat the 12 eggs. (Using a fork is just fine, no need to drag out the electric mixer.)
9. Add the 4 cups of milk to the beaten eggs. (The boys used skim milk, I am sure to the disappointment of Andy, he far prefers whole milk. It was indeed a shock when he became part of our family that skim milk is the only option in the fridge!)
10. Add the 2 teaspoons of dry mustard and the 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to the egg and milk mixture.
11. Stir the egg and milk mixture to combine.
12. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread, sausage and cheese layers evenly.
13. Cover the casserole with foil and refrigerate for 12 hours. (Makes for an easy morning if you make this the night before!)
14. Cook the casserole covered with the foil in a 350 degree oven for one hour.
15. Let the casserole sit uncovered for 10 minutes before serving.

Shafer says hi! Cooling off in the backyard with the water of her many her favorite outdoor activities!

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