Bacon & Potato Brunch Bake
Don't be fooled by it's simple looks. I recently served this for a brunch party and it was an absolute hit!
The holidays are a time for feasting and merriment, when even the strictest diet watchers relax just enough to forget their waistlines for a day and enjoy the luscious holiday delights that the festive season brings. Well this hearty bake doesn't disappoint! Eggs, bacon, mushrooms & spinach combined with a potato "hash brown" base will satisfy even the heartiest appetite for an easy festive breakfast/brunch meal.
The real benefit of this dish is the convenience of doing the bulk of the recipe the day before so in the morning all you have to do is just beat your eggs with a bit of milk, add your herbs and seasoning and whack it on your bake before popping in the oven - it couldn't be easier or more delicious!
This recipe serves a large holiday gathering of around 12-15 people but you can easily halve this recipe for just the family with some leftovers for later!
This dish can also be used as a side dish as meal for lunch or dinner with a nice crisp salad
Try different herbs and cheeses for different flavor combinations
Try chopped turkey, chicken bacon, chorizo or salami in place of bacon
YOU WILL NEED
2 cups chopped bacon
2 cups chopped onion
3 cups chopped mushrooms
3.5 cups grated potatoes (squeeze out excess moisture)
2/3 cup chicken stock
7 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cheddar/sharp flavored cheese
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-2 chillies finely chopped or a light sprinkle of chilli powder (optional)
Additional chopped basil/parsley/spring onions for garnish (optional)
In a large non-stick frying pan cook bacon until browned and crispy over medium heat. Once cooked, set aside.
Keep any remaining bacon fat in the pan and add the onions, mushrooms and garlic and sauté until softened.
Add the grated, gently squeezed, potato and chicken stock and continue cooking until stock is absorbed and the potatoes are softened, stirring from time to time.
Add the spinach, basil, a good amount of fresh ground black pepper and cook until spinach softens and wilts.
Remove from the stove and allow to cool.
Once cooled add the cooked bacon and cheese and mix well. Taste the mixture and see if it needs any additional salt or pepper and add accordingly. (Your potato may not be fully cooked that is okay.)
Take two medium sized oven safe dishes (21cm/10.5" x 30cm/15"). grease lightly and divide the mixture evenly between them creating a even layer in both. Cover securely with plastic wrap and set aside the fridge until required the next day.
Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
In a medium sized mixing bowl beat the eggs, milk, ¼ teaspoon salt and a good crack of fresh black pepper.
Pour the mixture evenly between the two dishes and then sprinkle with the chilli or chilli powder if using it.
Allow to bake for 30-40 minutes or until the egg mixture is set.
If desired, finish the bake under the grill/broil feature for a few minutes until the top gets just a little browned.
Serve warm with some extra chopped herbs if desired, some ketchup, sour cream and/or Tabasco for some extra kick!