Tested Tried & True: Egg Casserole / Denver Omelet

What’s this?

I found a recipe in one of my “Taste of Home’s” Quick Cooking books (clear back from 2000) . . .

I’ll preface this with the following: I’m not good at following recipes exactly.  So many of them just don’t have enough of something that I think they need more of – or are lacking something that I want to include.  Can you tell I’m a little rebellious?  Thought so.

Anyway, I found this recipe, along with several others that I decided to pick apart to create my own.  I wanted something that I could prep the night, or day or two before and just pop it in the oven in the AM.

Ok, another preface: my kids pretty much don’t eat cereal.  Warning, rant ahead: I can’t believe that so many kids now days just eat cereal day after day (or just toast, or a breakfast bar or just a carb load of crap).  No wonder kids don’t function well in school and we have an obesity problem.  I understand the ease of it, but it’s so bad for kids!  All that sugar, all that crap, no energy, blech.  So, I’ve always made a hot breakfast for my kids.  Yes, once-in-awhile I give in to the “Mom, can we have cereal” – but it’s a rare rare thing.  It’s also so much more expensive!  My 4 boys eat at least a box and a half of cereal plus at least a 1/2 – 2/3 gallon of milk.  Could you even imagine that on a weekly basis?  YIKES!  Ok, rant over (I will always warn you of oncoming rants!)

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

I love omelets but they are too time consuming to make for 6 people – so I found a few recipes that I decided to combine and make my own (it’s that rebelliousness peeking through).

First a recommendation: Use whole fat, ‘real’ ingredients – don’t use low-fats or skims or margarines or whatever.  The manufacturers just simply exchange sugar, corn starch and man-made trans fats (among other processing ingredients) in lieu of the healthier fat options.  Don’t mix all of the ingredients the night before, the hash browns are likely to get soggy and blech tasting.

Ingredients: Eggs, milk, season salt, shredded hash browns, cooked ham, shredded cheddar, sour cream, bulk pork sausage, minced onion, PAM

Supplies: large bowl, beaters, large spatula, 13 x 9 baking dish

Make a-heads: Cook the bulk pork sausage – I buy the 3lb tubes at Costco and cook it ahead and keep it cooked and ready for recipes in a plastic container in the fridge.  The ham I buy as a 3-5lb pre-cooked brick (best description I could think of) and just dice it myself.  I store it in 2 cup increments in freezer bags in the freezer, ready for recipes.  If you really want to go all out and do fresh, make your own hash browns.  Since I’m ok with compromises now and then on some things, I bought a large package of frozen shredded hash browns from Walmart.

The following recipe feeds a family of 6 (4 very growing boys + 2 adults) for 1.5 – 2 meals.

  • 18 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • Season Salt 1tsp or just toss it in like I do – until I think it’s enough 🙂
  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 2 cups diced fully cooked ham
  • 2 cups fully cooked pork sausage
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp dried minced onion or just toss in what you think will make it taste yummy

How to:

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk and season salt.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients
  • Pour into a greased (I use PAM) 13×9 baking dish (I use a glass dish)
  • Bake uncovered at 350* for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean

Variations:

  • I’m going to try many variations, however very carefully because as you’ll see by the reviews, this one was a hit for our family.
  • meats: bacon, kielbasa, salami, pepperoni, chicken, crab
  • cheeses: pepper-jack, mexican style
  • veggies: broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, onions, asparagus

Reviews:

The adults: We didn’t try this one.  Chuck and I are working on our 2010 goal of losing 100 lbs each.  We just hit 80 lbs lost (each) so far this year and there is no way I’m going to mess up my achievement of this goal to taste something I’m sure is yummy!  And, neither of us are really keen on ham, but the kids love ham so this one’s for them.

The kids:

How it worked in our house:

I had already cooked the sausage and the ham (and diced the ham).   In the AM I got up, quickly mixed the items (measured out the cheese and milk)  and popped the whole thing into the oven and went and took my shower.  It took me less than 10 minutes to mix everything and get it in the oven.  The oven was beeping it’s completion by the time I was out of the shower, dressed and hair/makeup done.  Loved the ease and timing of this one.

Dealing with leftovers:

I cut everything up into portion sizes (a little larger in our house because of our heavy eaters) and then I put the servings into gladware or ziplock containers.  I pop them in the fridge and if there is enough, they become a whole other meal.  If not enough for everyone, we have 1-2 “left-over” meals each week – where everything is laid out according to “expiration” (I manage my fridge so that we waste nothing).  If we are simply tired of the food, I’ll put them in the freezer and once or twice a month, we have a “freezer” night and eat things in containers from the freezer.

~Christina

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