Broccoli, Cheese & Bacon Breakfast Bake

I love breakfast casseroles, but most recipes seem to be designed for 13×9 pans — great for feeding a crowd, but too much for those times I want to make something special just for my own little family. Here’s a scaled-down version that can be done in an 8×8 pan or 2-quart casserole dish. It uses ingredients we tend to have on hand, so I was able to whip it up this past weekend without a trip to the grocery store. Bonus: If you use Corning Ware, you can saute and bake in the same dish!

Adapted from Food Network’s Mix-and-Match Brunch Casserole.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 oz bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
3 cups stale bread, torn into roughly 1-inch cubes (not too dense — I used leftover hamburger buns)
1 cup shredded cheese (any type — I used a Mexican blend)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Saute the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the edges start to brown. Then add the onion and broccoli, and saute until the broccoli starts to cook but is still crunchy. Transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in the bread and 3/4 cup of the cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt and pepper (to taste), then add to the veggie/bread mixture and toss until the bread is well coated. Let stand for a few minutes.

Pour into a greased 8×8 pan or casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the center is just set and the edges start to brown, about 40-50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then serve.

Pictured: Corning Ware Floral Bouquet Third Edition A-2-B Casserole, Pyrex Salad Bowl 444 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Pyrex 532 Measuring Cup  

Sunny-Side-Up Egg in the Microwave

I recently added another Corning Ware microwave browning skillet to my collection — a 6-inch MW-83-B scored at Savers — so I decided it was time to try it out. The MW-83-B is similar to the P-83-B in Corning Ware’s Menuette line, making it the perfect size for a fried egg.

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With this little footed skillet, it’s possible to cook a pretty good sunny-side-up egg — lightly browned edges, runny yolk — in about a minute.

Ingredients

cooking spray
1 egg, cracked into a bowl
salt
pepper

Place the empty skillet in the microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds to preheat. Spray the skillet liberally with oil, then pour in the egg and microwave for another 40 seconds. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Note: Cooking times are for a 1100-watt microwave. You may need to experiment a bit to achieve your desired level of doneness. The Corning Ware 411 blog has some more detailed information on cooking with microwave browning skillets, including a vintage chart of cooking times for various foods.

Pictured: Corning Ware Amana MW-83-B Microwave Browning Skillet

No-Fuss Deviled Eggs with Pickled Celery

I’ve always been sort of intimidated by making deviled eggs — peeling eggs without making a mess of them, getting the yolk out, then spooning it back in (or, God forbid, piping it in) — it all just sounds like too much work. Then I came across a revelation: Why not just cut the eggs in half and top them with deviled egg ingredients, no mixing required! I wish I could remember where I read about that idea, but let’s face it, my memory is not what it used to be. Anyway, this has got to be the easiest deviled egg prep ever — no mixing, no measuring, no piping. It easily tastes as good as regular deviled eggs, just with a slightly different texture.

The pickled celery here comes from Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon, which is really delicious. Pickled celery might be my new favorite thing.

Ingredients

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 stalks celery, diced
eggs (any number, within reason)
mayonnaise
mustard (any kind will do, I used whole-grain Dijon)
black pepper
paprika

Set your eggs out on the counter until they lose their refrigerator chill (about 30 minutes). This helps prevent them from cracking when you first drop them into boiling water.

Combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add celery, cover and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Place a pot of water (enough to cover your eggs) on the stove on high heat until it reaches a boil. Lower to medium-low heat, then use a slotted spoon to gently drop the eggs into the pot. Cook at a very low simmer (barely bubbling) for 11 minutes. On my stove, this results in yolks that are cooked through but still moist, not chalky. But you may need to experiment with different cooking times to attain the hard-boiled style you prefer. Epicurious has a good tutorial here.

Plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and chill for about 15 minutes.

Peel the eggs and slice in half with a sharp knife. Top each half with a little mayonnaise and mustard — keep in mind that most deviled egg recipes use a mayo-to-mustard ratio of about 12:1, so dollop accordingly. Spoon on pickled celery (there will be plenty leftover — save it to use in egg salad, potato salad, tuna salad, as a burger topping, etc.). Sprinkle with fresh-ground black pepper and paprika. If you want more of a kick, sub in cayenne, chipotle powder, chili powder, creole seasoning or anything else that sounds good!

Thrifted Kitchen note: I love using small vintage Pyrex bowls as prep containers. Pictured: Pyrex Homestead 401 Round Mixing Bowl