Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake

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Start the day off right with this Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake. Potatoes, cheese, ham, asparagus, tomatoes, and sunny side up eggs make this a satisfying, hearty dish.

Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake
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The old adage that bad things happen in threes proofs to be true again this past weekend. My daughter almost got sideswiped Friday night as she drove through an intersection. Saturday morning my husband and I avoided getting sideswiped at another intersection. And on Saturday night, my seventeen year old son got injured working in a restaurant kitchen. On the bright side, the incidences left just little rattled but feeling very lucky.

As long as I mentioned children, if you have ever wondered what it feels like to fail your child, I will show you the way. Imagine that you are out to dinner with some friends while your child is at work. Imagine a dinner companion gets a call from your daughter who has gone out of town. Your daughter says that your son got hurt. He has not been able to get a hold of you and he does not know where you are. It turns out, the phone in your pocket was never turned on and your husband forgot his at home! With little details and thinking of worst case scenarios, you end dinner abruptly and everyone rushes out of the restaurant. Luckily, your son suffered only a minor injury from broken glass and did not need emergency care. But if you never felt like you failed your child before, you will certainly feel it when you think about THE moment that, because of your oversight, you were not there when he needed you most.

Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake


Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake,a serving on a white plate


Moving onto food, what didn’t fail was this casserole I made this weekend. I call it a breakfast bake, but it is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. It has a potato/custard base. I have tried this recipe with a bread/custard base, but I prefer the bite and chew of the potatoes much more. And the addition of tomatoes provides a wonderful burst of additional flavor and color.

This dish requires quite a bit of eggs, I decided to use a combination of egg substitute and whole eggs to lighten it up just a bit. There are egg substitute in the custard layer and whole eggs on top of the casserole. In order to keep them in place, I created aluminum rings to hold them as they bake. Of course, if you have cookies cutters, they would be the best option, but since I do not have four of the same size I had to MacGyver it (those who are too young to understand my reference, how I envy you!).

hand holding aluminum foil rings


Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake with aluminum foil rings


Finally, I added something unconventional to a casserole—instant potato flakes. It helps thicken up the custard while the flavor blends in seamlessly with the diced potatoes. I love it when stumble on a good idea! Enjoy!

Egg Ham and Asparagus Breakfast Bake



INGREDIETNS:

12 sprigs asparagus
12 grape tomatoes
1 3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup egg substitute
3/4 rounded tsp. table salt
3/4 rounded tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
5 tbsp. instant potato flakes
1/3 cup minced onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (20 oz.) pkg. refrigerated diced potatoes (with or without onions)
2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup diced cooked ham
4 large eggs
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper



INSTRUCTIONS:

Note: This recipe requires 4 aluminum rings to mold eggs during baking. Directions given below.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and dry asparagus and tomatoes. Cut and discard the bottom (flat end) 2 inches of the asparagus. Cut the remaining into 1-inch pieces. Slash each tomato lengthwise but keeping it intact. Working in a large bowl or the kitchen sink, squeeze the juice out of the pulp. This can get messy. Set tomatoes aside.

In a medium bowl, add milk, egg substitute, table salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Whisk until frothy. Add potato flakes, onion, and garlic. Whisk to blend. 

Spray and 9” x 9” inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add potatoes. Add half of the cheese. Quickly whisk the milk mixture and poor half over the cheese, making sure to scoop up some the solids that settled to the bottom of the bowl. Add ham, asparagus, tomatoes, and the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining milk mixture. Bake for 35 minutes.

While the casserole bakes, make the aluminum rings: Tear 4 strips of 12” x 5” inch wide aluminum foil. Fold each one in half, lengthwise. Repeat fold. Bring two ends together and make a 1-inch fold onto itself to close ends. Holding the fold together, make another 1/2 inch fold. Open up the ring. It should be approximately 2 3/4-inch in diameter. Generously grease both sides with oil.

Remove casserole from the oven. Place aluminum rings in each quadrant, pressing down slightly into surface. Break and egg into each one. Sprinkle with kosher salt and coarse black pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes or until egg is set, but yolks are still runny. The custard layer should also be firm in the middle. Remove rings immediately using a butter knife to separate the rings from casserole if they stick. Allow to set about 15 minutes before serving. Serves 4. 


1 comment:

The Cozy Cook said...

This looks SOOO good, I just baked eggs for the first time last week, they came out SO stinkin' good!!! I'll have to try this next, maybe this weekend! :)

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