Monday, August 29, 2011

Beakfast for Dinner

Who says breakfast always has to be eaten in the morning?

Our fam likes breakfast - a LOT.  We love baked goods, pancakes, hash browns, eggs (I'm a more recent egg convert).  And we love bacon.  We occasionally indulge in the real deal, but we were converted to a turkey bacon family, and have made that work for the last few years  - only in a pan, and only Louis Rich meet our "fakin" standards.  As I become a more serious label reader, I'm not sure WHAT do to anymore... But that's another post - in fact, that's another blog, and I'm not the one to write it). 

Whew - back to breakfast.  We love it, we eat it every day in the traditional sense, and we eat it for dinner (some call it "brinner") quite frequently.  I had a random assortment of stuff in the fridge tonight and saw this recipe for Cheesy Hash Brown Cups, so we gave it a whirl.  I made a few changes, noted below (I did make some without the veggies for the kids, because I just gave up, by the way).  We liked them, and I'm going to road test them for a freezer-friendly recipe.

3 cups Shredded Hash Browns (I used thawed frozen shredded hash browns I had on hand)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (I skipped this, which might be why mine we a teeny bit dry)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound ground Italian sausage (I used some deli ham chopped up and sauteed instead)
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms (didn't have any, so I used some onions, scallions and diced romas)
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cups (16 ounces) Better'n Eggs® (I had Egg Beaters - whatevs)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (I skipped this, and just did some fresh ground pepper)
1/2 cup Crystal Farms® Finely Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Instructions:
 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 12-cup regular muffin cup pan; set aside. In medium bowl combine potatoes, butter and salt; mix well. Press about ¼ cup potato mixture into each muffin cup lining bottom and sides. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  (I vote for a little less time.)

2. Meanwhile, brown Italian sausage in 10-inch skillet; drain grease. Add mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Fill each baked hash brown cup equally with sausage mixture.  (We like our veggies a little more crisp, so I just cooked the onions, and then tossed in the rest after I removed from heat.)

3. In small bowl combine egg product and seasoning; mix well. Pour over meat/veggies, filling each muffin cup equally. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cup comes out clean (again, I vote a little less time, or they get dry).

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