While it seems many of the breakfast casserole recipes I sample are variations of the egg and sausage strata, I recently tried a tasty twist highlighting crabmeat, fresh lemon and cheese.
Built on English muffins, it emerged soufflé-like from the oven, settling back into manageable proportions as it cooled. With its base of half-and-half, eggs and CUPS of white cheddar, Swiss and parmesan cheeses, it is a substantial breakfast best accompanied by fresh fruit!
(The bright lemon notes also balance the dish, keeping the richness of the other ingredients from overwhelming the palate.)
Cheese and Crab Brunch Bake
Adapted from Taste of Home magazine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 English muffins, split
8 ounces lump crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
8 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (yellow, orange or red)
Spread mustard over bottom halves of muffins and place in a greased 9″x13″ baking dish. Top muffins with crab, lemon juice and peel. Sprinkle with white cheddar and top with remaining muffin halves.
Whisk eggs, cream, milk, mayonnaise, salt, cayenne and pepper in a large bowl. Pour mixture over muffins and sprinkle with Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese and peppers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.