Try this Egg and Cheddar Cheese Puff recipe for your next holiday celebration.
Red bell peppers and early winter greens make this dish both beautiful and healthy. Use whatever fresh greens are left in the garden or look best at the market: chard, kale, spinach, beet, dandelion or a combination.
• 6 large slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and rubbed with garlic
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, then cut into strips
• 1 or 2 bunches of greens, stemmed, washed and dried; stack and cut the leaves crosswise (makes about 3 cups densely packed, shredded greens)
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 12 extra-large eggs
• 3 cups milk
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
• 1 teaspoon Hungarian-style paprika
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with butter or olive oil. Cut the toasted garlic bread into large bite-sized cubes and put them in a large bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add bell pepper strips and greens, stir well and cover for a few minutes.
3. Remove the cover and add garlic, salt and pepper. Stir, then cover for another minute or two until the greens are wilted. Remove from heat.
4. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Generously season with salt and pepper. Add milk, thyme, paprika and cayenne, and whisk to blend.
5. Toss sautéed vegetables into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and mix well. Transfer them to the baking dish. Spread about two-thirds of the cheese over the bread mixture.
6. Pour the milk and eggs over all and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. At this point you can refrigerate the dish for a few hours, or leave at cool room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes. If refrigerated, remove from refrigerator half an hour before baking.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and the eggs are set. Serve hot. Serves 6 to 8.
For more brunch recipes see the article: Winter Holiday Brunch Recipes.
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