Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Bourbon Street crowd in full swing for Mardi Gras.
It's that time of year. Mardi Gras is upon us and, of course, the Mardi Gras capital of the United States is New Orleans. People will come from literally all over the world to witness this rapturously decadent celebration. It's not all about the booze and the beads, though. New Orleans has long been considered a culinary mainstay of classic Southern and Creole cooking. Here's a recipe for a casserole that's great to whip up next time you are having friends or family over for coffee. It's a bit retro but serving it with home-made, fresh biscuits will add a little more spice than usual to your morning meal or brunch. If there's no time the refrigerator biscuits are an option.
Big Easy Breakfast with Biscuits and Orange-Honey Butter
(Makes 8-9 servings).
6 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes
2 teaspoons garlic pepper blend
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 pound lean sliced bacon, diced (cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces)
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 green pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
1 teaspoon salt
2 7 1/2 ounce packages regular size refrigerated biscuits (20 total)
Orange Honey Butter (recipe below)
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 9x13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl toss together potatoes, garlic pepper and one cup cheese; spread evenly in prepared dish and set aside.
2. Heat large skillet over medium heat; pan-fry bacon until almost crisp; set bacon on paper towels and remove all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the skillet. Saute onion and pepper until onion is tender, about 2-3 minutes. Toss drained bacon with sauteed onion and pepper; spread evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over all.
3. Place eggs in large bowl with cour cream, hot pepper sauce, pepper and salt; whisk together until smooth and pour evenly over the potatoes. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until nicely browned. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
4. Meanwhile, turn oven temperature to 450 F and bake biscuits according to package directions. Serve hot biscuits immediately with the Orange-Honey butter.
In a small bowl, use fork to stir together 1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature butter, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel until well blended. Serve at room temperature.