Oh well. I think it is a public service to share recipes that work for a crowd. Breakfast can be a challenge in that regard. I’m not crazy about the typical egg casserole that is really savory bread pudding packed to the top with bread. I like the concept, but I really like eggs. So when I make eggs, I want to have eggs, not a bread soufflé. I just found a recipe that splits the difference. It uses English muffins as its base and then eggs and other goodies are poured on top of the muffins. The result is a bread base, that lends some stability to the casserole, but it is not a bread casserole. I’m not sure that made a whole lot of sense. But take my word that this is a different breed.
Anyway, the other brilliant thing about it is that much like many of the “bread pudding” egg casseroles, this one is prepared the night before and kept in the fridge, and the one cooked component for the assembly can even be cooked a day before that. To wit, I called up my mom who is always a willing accomplice on PIE experiments and said, “We’re all crashing at your place this weekend…will you cook up some bulk sausage and then clean up all the grease so I don’t have to deal with it and have it ready to go when I get there?” I’m slightly spoiled. “We” is my family and my brother’s family and then there is my mom and Bob so that is 6 alleged grown-ups and 4 kids, and we nearly polished this off, so while it makes an incredibly large amount of food, I suspect that you and yours will consume it with gusto just like we did.
I guess that if you don’t like green chiles you could make this without it, but that would be silly. By the way if you love green chiles and you ever drive through Socorro, N.M. you need to go to Blake’s Lot-a-Burger and have their green chile cheeseburger. I know I’m off topic, but this is a public service too.
OK, back to eggs.
Get a 9” x 13” casserole dish. The dish I used was bowed on the sides so I added a few more eggs and another split muffin to fill the “holes”. I recommend tearing up at least one additional muffin to help cover the “bald” spots on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Split the English Muffins in half (as you would if you were going to toast them). Spread butter on the cut sides and place the muffins buttered side down in the bottom of the dish.
Cook the sausage and then remove it from the pan to drain on paper towels. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and then add in the sour cream. Whisk again to fully combine. Mine ended up a little lumpy and I left it that way (see white spots in the photos) and it didn’t make a bit of difference in the finished product so don’t stress over it.
Now, you layer. On top of the English muffins, sprinkle half of the sausage, half of the green chiles and then half of the cheese. Then pour all of the eggs evenly over those layers. Finally, sprinkle the remaining half of sausage, chiles, and cheese.
Cover the dish and place it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning remove the casserole from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you intend to cook it. Then place the dish in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. After you remove it from the oven allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes so that it will cut into more orderly pieces.
For the record, I didn’t invent this. I wish I had. I found it in a dog-eared and beloved cookbook belonging to someone else. I wrote down the recipe and failed to note the name of the cookbook. When I went back to research it online I found about a billion different versions of it so lets just say it is a national treasure.
Speaking of national treasures, I also used a great cheese in this casserole. I had a block of real Wisconsin (medium) Cheddar from Nasonville Dairy left over from another cooking project. I like medium cheddar because I think it melts nicely but still has great flavor. Nasonville is a 3d generation family operation in Marshfield, Wisconsin and they make some great cheeses. I highly recommend their blue cheese, as well. Enjoy!