Special of the day: Crack of dawn breakfast bakes

12 Sep Special of the day: Crack of dawn breakfast bakes

 

Ham, Swiss and Sauteed Red Onion Breakfast Bake

“It feels like we should be getting on an airplane to go somewhere at this hour,” my husband Mike muttered in response to the rude awakening at five (!) bells that came all too quickly the first day our newly-minted middle-schooler started early morning basketball practices last week.  Ah, my sentiments exactly…

Alas, jetting off on an airplane was not in the cards for us. Instead, we were jumping on the Crack-of-Dawn Breakfast Fast Track to make sure Mackenzie was adequately fueled up for her long, demanding day which now included a before-school basketball practice and after-school cross-country workout. Whew!

A stroke of dumb luck had me thinking ahead and throwing together a breakfast bake the night before, scrounging around the kitchen to find particularly palatable provisions, secretly hoping my MacGyvering efforts would pay off in the morning hours.
And, happily, they did.
Shortly after our loud-mouthed alarm jostled us from our cozy covers, Mike sauntered out to the kitchen to fire up the oven and retrieve the breakfast bake. Before too long, the oven was hot and ready to go. The 30-minute bake time gave me just enough time to shower and get dressed while Breakfast Bake Number One basically-baked itself. This do-ahead breakfast bake was a lifesaver!
Some leftover rolls or bread you have lying around, a couple of eggs, a splash of milk, some deli ham and Swiss cheese and an onion: that’s all you’ll need for this easy throw-together jumpstart to the day. What could be better?

You’ll be glad you paid it forward the next day when you sleepily pull the assembled dish out of the refrigerator and pop it in the preheated oven, free to attend to other early-morning duties while this light-and-fluffy satisfying breakfast bake cooks contentedly, all on its own.
When bedtime rolled around earlier than expected that first night, sure enough, there I was-back in the kitchen- concocting yet another breakfast bake: an Ooey Gooey Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Bake for Day Number Two.  Yum!

Wishing you a few more minutes of shut-eye in the morning, I give you this week’s Special of the day: Crack-of-Dawn Breakfast Bakes and recipes for Ham, Swiss and Sautéed Red Onion Breakfast Bake and Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Bake. Enjoy!

Recipes and Food Photography by Sydne George.

 

Ham, Swiss and Sauteed Red Onion Breakfast Bake

Ham, Swiss and Sautéed Red Onion Breakfast Bake

(serves four or more for breakfast)

1 Tbsp. butter

½ red onion, sliced into thin rings

2 French rolls (or other bread), sliced horizontally in half and cut to fit into bottom of baking dish

3 Tbsp. butter, melted

½ pound deli honey ham, sliced into thin strips

1 cup swiss cheese, grated

5 eggs

½ cup milk

In medium sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp, butter and sauté red onion until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Butter bottom and sides of 8- or 9-inch shallow baking dish. Fit bread into bottom of baking dish. Brush bread with melted butter. Top with ham strips, swiss cheese and sautéed red onion.

Whisk eggs and milk in a medium bowl until well-mixed. Pour egg mixture over assembled breakfast bake, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake breakfast bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until eggs are set. Let rest briefly before cutting. Cut in squares. Serve warm. Enjoy!

 

Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon French Toast Bake

Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Bake

(serves four or more for breakfast)

Note: the addition of raisins or sliced apples to the sauce on the bottom of the pan would be wonderful.

¼ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. corn syrup

2 French rolls (or other bread) cut in half horizontally and sliced to fit in baking dish

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

4 eggs

¼ cup milk

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and corn syrup and cook, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat.

Butter bottom and sides of 8- or 9-inch shallow baking dish. Fit bread into bottom of baking dish. Brush bread with melted butter.

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over buttered bread slices.

Whisk eggs and milk in medium bowl until well-mixed. Pour egg mixture over assembled breakfast bake, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake breakfast bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until eggs are set. Let rest briefly before cutting. Cut in squares. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

 

 

 

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