We are gearing up for Thanksgiving at my house. This week I will cook and freeze most of our Thanksgiving meal. Everything but the turkey will be ready to go.
I know this makes me sound almost competent, but it’s a desperation move. I’ll do anything to avoid any last-minute panic and random trips to the grocery store during the worst week of the year to shop for food.
Last year there was almost a stabbing in the canned fruit aisle of my grocery store over the last can of cranberry sauce. I’m just not tough enough to shop the week before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving morning, my family will wake up and have breakfast while we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s an annual tradition before we go to the Smithsonian museum for the afternoon.
This year for breakfast, I’m going to make a recipe from The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook.
The cookbook is divided into chapters devoted to a theme like Cookie Exchange, Thanksgiving Dinner, etc.
The recipes are perfect for every event or holiday until New Year’s Day. There are recipes for mixed drinks, appetizers, desserts, turkey leftovers and one not-to-be-missed turkey recipe that uses coffee beans.
Each chapter provides recipes for complete meals or parties. Emeril Lagasse provides the recipes for the Parade Breakfast chapter.
I made the entrée from Emeril’s Parade Breakfast meal: Breakfast Casserole with Broccoli, Ham and Cheese.
Emeril Lagasse’s BREAKFAST CASSEROLE WITH BROCCOLI, HAM, AND CHEESE
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to season
6 cups broccoli florets (from about 2 pounds broccoli heads)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped onions
1 1/4 cups (about 8 ounces) finely chopped ham
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
8 cups cubed crusty bread such as French or Italian (1-inch cubes)
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallions (I omitted)
1 1/4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Generously salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
While waiting for the water to heat, chop the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Prepare a large bowl of iced water near the stove.
When the water comes to a rapid boil, drop in the broccoli and cook for one minute. Scoop from boiling water and drop into the iced water to stop the cooking process. The broccoli should be bright green and tender. When chilled, drain and dry on paper towels.
Heat olive oil in small skillet on medium-high heat. Sauté chopped onions, seasoned with salt, for about 4 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.
In a very large bowl (very large!) combine the cubed bread, grated cheddar cheese, cubed ham, broccoli and onions. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
In the same large bowl, add the spices and salt, whisk in the half and half so the spices don’t clump (ahem), and then add the eggs and chives, and gently combine until it’s a smooth custardy mixture.
Pour evenly into the baking dish.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
When ready to cook, remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil. Allow dish about half an hour to come to room temperature. This is a good time to make coffee and prepare any side dishes.
Add casserole to 375 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove foil, sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmesan cheese and return to oven for 15 minutes.
When done, the casserole should be bubbly, puffed and toasted. Since I used a narrower, deeper pan, baking time needed to be increased a few minutes. The egg mixture should not be runny—the consistency of light and fluffy scrambled eggs.
Allow to cool slightly and serve.
This recipe is estimated to serve 6-8, but I thought it would serve more. Mine made 10 generous servings!
A nice printable recipe is available here. Click on “Meet the chefs”/Emeril Lagasse’s “Chef bio and recipes”. Look at the tab to the right marked “Recipes” and click the starred recipe “BREAKFAST CASSEROLE WITH BROCCOLI, HAM AND CHEESE”.
All of the starred recipes on the Macy’s website are from the current cookbook and should give you a feel for the excellent recipes designed by the famous chefs on Macy’s Culinary Council, like Marcus Samuelsson, Cat Cora, and Wolfgang Puck.
Check out the Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook, available now online only at macys.com and in Macy’s stores.
So, this is what I’m making for Thanksgiving breakfast since all the prep is done in advance and we can relax and enjoy something nice while we watch the parade.
My friend, Char, tried out the same recipe. See how hers turned out at her blog, Raising A Healthy Family.
Do you have a breakfast tradition for Thanksgiving morning?
I’ve written this on behalf of the Macy’s Culinary Council and have been compensated for my time and materials. All opinions are my own.