Feb 8, 2018

Breakfast Prep

If you are like most busy mothers, preparing anything for breakfast that takes more than 5 minutes is just wishful thinking. We would all feel better about serving our families something warm and filling before they walk out the door every morning. The best way to do that is to prepare breakfast the night before.  And the best way to do that is by putting together an overnight French toast casserole. Giving the challah time to soak up all the flavor makes for a tasty breakfast that will keep your family going all the way to lunch.  Overnight French toast casseroles can be sweet or savory. Here are a few of our favorites.

butter, for the dish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
Slices challah or 4 mezonos rolls sliced in thirds
3 cups baby spinach leaves
5 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
8 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
Kosher salt and pepper

Butter a 9"-x-13" casserole dish. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, lay out half the challah slices in the buttered dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Add the spinach.

In a bowl, beat eggs with milk and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then lay out the remaining challah slices. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the challah. Refrigerate overnight

When ready to serve, heat oven to 375 degrees F, remove casserole from fridge and replace plastic wrap with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake until eggs are puffed and just set, 25 to 30 minutes more.

For the French toast:

1-pound challah, cubed
butter, room temperature (for baking dish)
6 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pecan crumble and assembly:

1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Butter a 9 x 13” baking dish.

Toss bread cubes into prepared dish. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour over challah, pressing down to help it soak up egg mixture. Cover and chill overnight.  

For pecan crumble and assembly:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pulse pecans, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until nuts are coarsely chopped.  Scatter pecan crumble over soaked challah. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake 25–30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until deeply browned, 35–40 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving with maple syrup or honey.

4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 slices challah
½ cup butter

For serving:
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 pint blueberries washed and patted dry
½ cup confectioners' sugar

Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, milk and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Melt the butter. Pour the melted butter into a 9”x 13” baking pan and place the challah slices over it.  Pour the egg mixture over the challah slices, pressing down to help absorb it. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes or until golden.

 Combine the sour cream with the berries and confectioners’ sugar and let stand a few minutes to combine flavors.

Remove from oven and serve the French toast warm, garnished with a dollop of berry whipped cream.

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