Breakfast Bake: Bacon, Tomato & Cheddar, Oh my!

Source: Food and Wine Magazine / Grace Parisi

What’s my inspiration?

Sunday Brunch with the family!  When my brother Nick comes home to visit, he often flies back home on a Sunday afternoon.  Since our condo is right on the way to the airport I invited some family over for brunch.  I rarely cook a big breakfast on the weekend.  Usually, Chris and I just get a mocha from Caribou or split an eggwich from Key’s Cafe.  Plus, I’m just not a huge breakfast fan.  However, I found a fun recipe I wanted to try in what else but Food & Wine Magazine, and this was the perfect occasion to try it.

This non-traditional breakfast bake serves 8 people, which is exactly how many people we had. Besides me accidentally turning the oven off ½ way through baking, everything else went smooth.  It was a super tasty and very hearty dish.  We ate around 11am and I didn’t get even somewhat hungry until dinnertime.  I’m sure that didn’t have anything to do with the high calorie count J The best part about this dish is you can make almost all of it the night before. And yes, I committed the cardinal sin of trying something new for the first time when guests were over.  Next time around, I will prep the dish the night before so I’m not so rushed in the morning.  Oh, and I will also make sure NOT to turn the oven off ½ way through the baking.  That was a bit of a blond moment.  It happens!

I served this dish with fresh fruit, coffee, Orange juice, and chocolate chip, pecan, banana bread.

What you need:

  • 1 pound bakery white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (16 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • One 28-ounce can whole Italian tomatoes—drained, chopped and patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • Hot sauce, for serving

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the bread is golden and lightly crisp.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet.
  • Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook until any liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Return the toasted bread cubes to the bowl. Add the contents of the skillet, along with the bacon, shredded cheeses, chives and broth. Stir until the bread is evenly moistened. Season with salt. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and cover with lightly oiled foil.
  • Bake the bread mixture in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is crispy, about 15 minutes longer. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 8 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve the breakfast bake right away with hot sauce.

Make Ahead:

  • The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.
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4 thoughts on “Breakfast Bake: Bacon, Tomato & Cheddar, Oh my!

  1. I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in this tasty dish Melissa prepared, it was delicious! The next time I have company for breakfast/brunch, this is definitely at the top of my list. Thanks Melissa.

  2. I think it was a success! I did the prep that I could the night before so the morning of it was pretty quick. It has a really good flavor!

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