There are no words that do it justice, really, other than to say that this casserole is easy-peasy and OMG-Good! Giving credit where credit is due, I adapted it from an Emeril Lagasse recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/breakfast-casserole-recipe/index.html
The biggest differences being that I used yellow onion instead of scallions and milk instead of cream. I do plan to try it with scallions but I'll probably never use that much cream in any single recipe for my family. I just can't bring myself to clog our arteries that way. Anyhoo, with no further ado, here are the yummy details...
1/2 loaf of French bread, cubed - about 6 cups, give or take (We always seem to have half a loaf left over and this is a GREAT way to use bread that's not-so fresh.)
1 lb. sausage (I used Wamplers reduced fat.)
1/2 large onion, diced
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp dried sage
7 large eggs, slightly beaten
1-1/4 cups milk (I used 2% for a little creaminess but not too much fat.)
1 cup good cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Sweetwater Valley Farm's Buttermilk cheese. This cheese it OMG-Good all on it's own.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 x 9 casserole dish with cooking spray. Fill dish with bread.
Mix eggs with milk. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Brown sausage with nutmeg, sage and a little salt and pepper. Drain. Add onion to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion starts to soften. Top bread with sausage and onion, then cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is nicely browned.
NOTE: The original recipe says you can assemble the casserole the night before and keep it in the fridge. If you do, I'd increase the cooking time to at least 60 minutes (if not more) to offset the cold dish and casserole. You may want to also cover it with foil for the first 30 minutes so that it doesn't get too brown.
Keep in mind that you can make this casserole for dinner, too. It's also extremely versatile - you can substitute a different meat and add any other veggies that you want to slip into your family's diet. If you get a chance to try it, let me know what you think!