Serving a holiday brunch? Planning a special breakfast for Christmas morning? Consider adding the recipe for this unusual sausage, apple and onion (oh! the onions! all dark and slightly sweet) dish to the menu, either as a side dish or the main course. Make it ahead of time, then pop it in the oven for serving hot or slightly warm. Your family or guests will say, "What smells so good?" This one's a keeper!
My family shrinks geography by shifting time.
When my sister’s boys were young, many years we celebrated our family Christmas a day or two before or a day or two after December 25. “What day is Christmas?” we’d decide, thereby setting the night before as ‘Christmas Eve’ when Santa would visit, planning our ‘Christmas Day’ dinner with all its trimmings.
One year we shifted New Year’s Eve’s stroke of midnight too, setting the clocks ahead by two hours. We started the festivities early, too early as it turned out. When the party began to lag well before our ‘midnight’, we moved the clocks ahead another hour. This meant pouring champagne and serenading the neighbors with Auld Lang Syne at nine o’clock, not midnight. The kids were so proud of themselves for staying awake until ‘midnight’. The grown-ups were grinning too, knowing we’d all get full nights’ of sleep.
Our time-shifting skills were tested over Thanksgiving when my dad drove to St. Louis from Minnesota, my sister and her family from Texas. We cooked a traditional Thanksgiving turkey on Thursday, shopped for stocking stuffers on Black Friday and then, on Friday evening, celebrated Christmas ‘morning’ with carols in the background, spiked coffee in our mugs and breakfast for supper.
For our ‘breakfast’ that night, I whipped up this easy Breakfast Casserole, put an overnight coffeecake (recipe coming soon) into the oven and chopped a little fruit salad.
Even with food, what matters is the season, the sentiment, the celebration – not the dates.
BREAKFAST CASSEROLE with
SAUSAGE, APPLES & CARAMELIZED ONIONS
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves 8 as side dish, 4 as main dish, easily halved or doubled
- 12 ounces pork sausage, mild or hot, your choice
- 2 medium apples, peeled or not, cored and sliced thin
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 large onions (avoid sweet onions, see TIPS), trimmed, peeled, halved, ‘thirded’ and then halved again (aim for big pieces)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F.
SAUSAGE In a large, heavy skillet, cook the pork sausage on medium to medium high until done, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula while cooking. Set aside.
APPLES In the same skillet, add the apples and stir to coat with any fat left in the skillet (see TIPS). Let cook until just soft, stirring occasionally. Stir into the sausage.
ONIONS Add the water to the hot skillet (it will sizzle) and scrape the bottom to ‘deglaze’ the pan, collecting up the bits on the bottom. Add the onions and stir to wet, breaking apart the onion layers. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper, stir to wet again. Let cook, stirring often, until the onions turn all dark and caramel-y.
COMBINE In a one-quart casserole dish or oven-safe pie pan, layer the ingredients, half the sausage-apple mixture, half the onions, then the remaining sausage-apple mixture and the remaining onions. If making ahead of time, stop here, cover and refrigerate.
BAKE Bake for 30 to 45 minutes (it will take longer if made ahead and stone-cold) until hot clear through. Serve immediately.
What's On Your Menu for Christmas Morning?
Do you keep it simple? go all out? GO out? Let me know in the comments!
More Breakfast Recipes for Christmas Morning
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