A while ago my mom told me about a breakfast casserole she made and she finally sent me the recipe (HI MOM.) It’s really more of a method than a recipe, as you can put whatever you have on hand in these “muffins.” I had planned to make one large casserole in my new spring form pan. I thought I could pop it right out and slice it up. I would serve some as” breakfast for dinner” that night and freeze the rest for a quick breakfast during the week. Well, I’ve never had a spring form pan before and I didn’t know that it wasn’t sealed. I arranged my filling neatly. First a layer of potatoes, then the sausage, then the cheese. I was smiling thinking how nice each layer would look when I sliced this bad boy up. Oh, but then….I poured the egg mixture over the potatoes and sausage. I turned around to open the oven door and heard dripping. I turned back around to see a huge puddle of the egg mixture all over the counter top and dripping to the floor. Sadly, I mixed up more eggs and milk and spooned the pretty potato, sausage and cheese into muffin cups.
However, the smile returned to my face when I pulled these little “muffins” out of the oven some time later. They smelled wonderful, the eggs had puffed up around the filling and the cheese on top was golden brown and crunchy. While they weren’t as pretty as my original vision, they were delicious.
Sausage, Egg and Potato “Muffins”
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 red onions diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 cups Hillshire Farm Lite Sausage, diced
3 tablespoons green onion, diced
2 cups shredded cheese (I used half pepper jack, half cheddar), plus extra for topping
1 cup milk
Salt/pepper to taste
Toss the potatoes and red onions with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or just until the potatoes are tender and the onions caramelize (this can be done up to 2 days ahead of time, cooled and refrigerated.)
Sauté sausage over medium-high heat until crisp and edges start to brown. Set aside and cool. Once the sausage is cooled, toss with the green onion.
To assemble the muffins: Divide potatoes, sausage, and cheese among 12 greased muffin cups. Pour the egg mixture 2/3 of the way up each cup. Sprinkle cheese on top of the muffins.
Bake “muffins” at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the cheese on top starts to brown.
These can be served warm or at room temperature.
*Extras can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To reheat, bake them on 400 for 20 minutes until warmed through.
Filed under: Breakfast, Dessert | Tags: cake, carrot, dried cherries, muffin, orange
So I’ve mentioned before that my family recently moved to a new country. And of course being a foodie (or at least a wanna be) many of my favorite things about our host country are food-related. Walking around the market in a new country is one of the best experiences! Sometimes it can be frustrating if you are looking for a particular ingredient or food and you can’t find it, or the labels aren’t in English. But sometimes, I find something new that makes me wonder how I’ve spent almost 30 years of my life without knowing it existed. This time, the “it” I am referring to is Orange and Carrot juice. I was intrigued, so I bought it. Man, am I glad I did. Both my husband and I were surprised how good it was! It wasn’t like the V-8 juices that cover up the taste of the veggies with the fruit juice. The flavor of the carrot was just as pronounced at the orange, yet in still, it was light, crisp and sweet. To date this is one of my favorite local finds.
So my family likes something sweet in the morning for breakfast, and when I was looking through the fridge to see what I had on hand to decide what to make, I saw the bag of oranges I had just bought, and a bag of carrots. Light bulb! I would make orange and carrot muffins. I then thought of one of my hubby’s favorite kinds of cake: carrot cake. I didn’t have any raisins, on hand, but I did have a bag of dried cherries. I think the addition made for a nice unexpected chewiness with a tart bite. I love this recipe, and I think this one will stay in the regular rotation in our house. The only changes I think I will make next time are to add maybe one or two more tablespoons orange zest so the orange flavor is more pronounced; and I will also see if I can find some vanilla beans for a little added flavor.
I forgot to buy muffin liners the last time I was shopping, so while “M” was helping me scoop the batter into the mini-bunt pans, she said, “Ohhh Mommy, I can’t wait to eat these mini-cakes!” So Orange and Carrot Mini Cakes with dried Cherries, they are!
Orange and Carrot Mini Cakes with Dried Cherries
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk (I used 2%
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon (packed) finely grated orange peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 large carrot, shredded
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease muffin pan or mini bunt cake pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. Whisk milk and orange juice in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and orange peel in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl (“M” liked helping with this part!) Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk mixture in 2 additions. Mix just until blended.
Fold in carrot and dried cherries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and cool on rack.