Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brunch Squares

Any recipe that starts with bacon must be amazing!

Okay, today is another trip down to the brunch-tastic vault.  I can’t help that I’m not always original, but I can help that what I choose to place on my table is delicious, and almost always a crowd pleaser!  Today, we’re also looking at a Pampered Chef recipe for Brunch Squares.  No worries if you can’t read a pdf file, I’m here to give it away for free!

First off, of course, The Ingredients:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups (8 ounces) grated Colby & Monterey Jack cheese blend, divided
1 package (22.5 ounces) frozen hash brown patties, thawed (10 patties)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 eggs
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (plus more, optionally)

  8 ounces thickly sliced deli ham (or 1 lb of bacon, cooked and diced)
 4-5 green onions with tops, divided (1 cup sliced)
 3 plum tomatoes (seeded and diced)

First, brush your stoneware bar pan with olive oil to ensure that it’s well seasoned.  You’d hate to have any of this stick behind while serving it up.  Next, crumble your hash brown patties into a single layer on the bottom of the pan.  Usually, I’m a wimp and my fingers freeze during this process, so I dice them with a handy dandy knife and then press them down once they’re in the pan.  Next, top with half of the required cheese; I buy pre-shredded cheese, but you could just grate your own, too.  Bake at 450 for 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the cheese is melted.

While that’s baking, whip the cream cheese until smooth, then gradually add in the eggs, and black pepper, whisking until smooth again.  I use a hand mixer to speed up the process, but it’s your call.  Then, add in ¾ C of your sliced green onions and your bacon (or ham) to the mixture.  It’s only there for a minute or two, so no worries, I promise.

When the hash browns are ready, remove from oven and let them cool while you’re finishing prepping.  If you’re ready, then go ahead and add your egg/cheese/bacon/onion mix on top.  Use a spatula to make sure everything is evenly spread, and then pop the tray back into the oven for 6-8 minutes.  This time, make sure the egg is set in the center and that the top looks like a cooked egg.  Sounds odd, but color helps!

Remove the pan, top with remaining green onions (1/4 cup), diced tomatoes, and cheese (4oz).  I then return it to the oven for about 2 minutes to heat through and melt the top layer of cheese.  Finally, remove it, cut it, and serve immediately.  Your guests will thank you for it.  While there is a bit of prep, and a lot of little steps to this recipe, it truly is easy, and so good.  It’s everything that makes a breakfast great, and you should give it a try when expecting a few for breakfast.  This makes 12 servings, but depending on your crowd, it’ll comfortably feed 8-10.

I'm not even a tomato fan and I find these delicious!!

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