Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Farmer's Casserole

I got this from the Once A Month Mom March Menu, for our attempt at true Once a Month Cooking. I believe that will be my ONLY attempt.  I like our way of sharing the work between friends, or tripling my regular dinner meals.  It was exhausting.  But, I have to admit, there's a lot we could have done different to make it go faster.  Chopping the night before would have made things MUCH simpler.  Anyhow, this is one of my favorite breakfast recipes, and I would love to always have these one hand, but we like them so much I use them up right away.  I think I'm going to start making this in batches of 10!

Author/Source: Martinez, Howell & Garcia from Don't Panic - Dinner's In the Freezer
Servings: 12

12 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups diced ham or Canadian style bacon
18 ounces canned mild green chilies
1 cup green onions, sliced
12 each eggs, beaten
48 ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pepper
0.5 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Grease 4 8x8 pans. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of baking dishes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together cheeses, ham, green chilies, and green onions. Sprinkle evenly among the 4 pans.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, pepper and salt. Pour egg mixture evenly among pans over potato mixture in dish.
4. Cover with foil and write the following instructions: Thaw completely. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center appears set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Containers Needed: 2 8x8 or 9x9 pans Deep Dish
This is one of the few meals that shouldn't be packaged in a Freezer bag.  I like to put everything in Freezer bags if possible. But this one does need the pan.  You can use disposable foil pans, or just freeze it in your dish.  Or even better, if you want to still be able to use your dishes while this is in the freezer, you can line the dish with plastic wrap or foil (b/c of the runny eggs, be aware of where you place the edges of the wrap), prepare the meal, then for a few hours or overnight, so it firms up.  Then you just pull the meal out of the dish and put the formed casserole in a freezer bag.  When ready to cook, remove it from the bag, remove the plastic wrap/foil and place it back in the dish to thaw.  The eggs do run into crevices, so I had to very carefully remove the foil before cooking, but it worked.  You can dip the bottom in warm water to loosen it from the foil a bit.

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