Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Breakfast Casserole-Jamie Oliver

Hello everybody!

This is a continuation of my last blog post about my brunch. For brunch, I knew I wanted to make a breakfast casserole of some sort. I looked online everywhere- at and to find inspiration for a colorful, delicious and hearty breakfast casserole, but I was not successful.  This was until my friend told me about a dish her brother made for brunch recently... and then she showed me a photo of the dish. I was immediately intrigued. The recipe is from Jamie Oliver. 

I looked over his recipe, and it had everything I liked, EXCEPT(!) I hate cooking vegetables in animal fat, which is basically what the recipe said to do.  Ok, let me retract my last sentence about animal fat..what I mean is, I hate using animal fat unnecessarily, especially when I feel that it doesn't add to the final result of the dish.  We can only consume so many calories in a day, so animal fats should be used only when necessary- i.e. when the dish will fall apart without its use.  Some examples of this- Poaching a piece of duck in its own fat to make duck confit, pieces of lard in wonton noodles for a burst of texture and flavor and cooking certain lentils in ghee to make a creamy daal. Just for cooking vegetables? No need to waste calories and consume saturated fats. In this dish, you won't be missing too much flavor from the animal fats since the red pepper is such a dominant flavor.

So, what I ended up doing was rewrite the recipe with a healthier version in mind. I also made the cooking steps more efficient.  **Side note, I don't like chorizo sausage, so I have replaced it with Italian sausage (which is my favorite).  You can use whichever sausage you like best.

Small mini potatoes in 3 colors: Golden, Red and Purple (About 4-5 of each color)- Cut into chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 6 links of Italian sausages (Ok to substitute with chorizo)- Cut into thirds
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
Two large handfuls of ripened cherry tomatoes
A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp Olive Oil 

*Note: Original recipe called for over-easy eggs to be plated together, but i prefer to serve eggs separately as a stand alone dish.  

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. On the stovetop, in a hot frying pan, brown the Italian sausages and render out the fats.  *Drain the FAT* and set the sausage aside. 
3.  In a separate oven-safe casserole dish, add olive oil.  Add potatoes, tomatoes and peppers and give everything a good shake and toss in the olive oil with a large spatula.
4. Bake for 20 mins in the oven, until the vegetables have softened and are cooked through. 
5. Remove the casserole from the oven, add the Italian sausage and return the dish to the oven for another 5 mins.
6. Season with salt and pepper (it is unlikely you will need a lot of salt because the Italian sausage is likely to be salty).
7. Sprinkle chopped parsley.
8. Let cool and serve with eggs over-easy and a loaf of good French bread.
9. Enjoy with your loved ones!

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver

Oven proof casserole dish- Emile Henry
Spatula for tossing-
Spoon for serving jam or honey:

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