This is a dish from Roey- who has known my parents since back in their fire island share house days. Roey makes a killer brunch- best served on the deck of their beach house. This egg casserole is so golden- because it tastes almost like super eggy french toast with bacon on top- best of all breakfast worlds. Leftovers freeze surprisingly well. And yes, it is important to soak it overnight- this is what gives it the bread pudding type texture. I love that aspect though- less prep work in the morning.
Italian bread cubed- or just ripped apart (seedless- like a crusty round loaf- i wouldn’t really use sliced bread, the other day I used a baguette and that worked too)
One and a half cups milk (i like to use whole)
Bacon cooked and crumbled (see note below) I’d say 3/4 a pack is more than enough. I used about 7 slices for 3/4 of the casserole (needed to leave a space open for vegetarian)
Cheddar cheese one package shredded (or if you are shredding your own, that’s 8oz or two loosely packed cups)
9×14″ baking dish
Place cubed bread at bottom of glass baking dish
Mix eggs and milk well, add salt and pepper, pour over bread
Sprinkle cheese over top
Sprinkle bacon over cheese
Place in refrigerator covered w. foil overnight
Bake next morning at 350 for one hour-covered for first 50 minutes then uncover for 10 mins.
A note on Bacon- for this purpose- I think it’s easiest to cook the bacon in the oven. This time, I decided to use a cooling rack above a cookie sheet so the grease could drip down. But, I think it would be fine just on a cookie sheet. Line the sheet with foil! And you put the bacon in while oven is cold- don’t need to preheat ahead. I did it from maybe 17-20mins mins at 350. But next time, I’d go up to 400 and cook for 10-12mins. Keep a close eye on it towards the end. When done, blot w. paper towels- or put on a plate lined w. paper towels.
*Appendix. 2 questions come up- does it work vegetarian? And do I really have to leave it overnight? I made it the other day w. spinach and ricotta- and that worked. Instead of overnight, I let it sit in the fridge (at least 1 hour) and w saran wrap and a heavy object like a book or boxes of sugar on top. Not quite as good as overnight- but in a bind, it works