Tailgating with Joe Drozda: Musts for morning tailgates

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Morning breakfast muffins. (Submitted photo)

Morning breakfast muffins. (Submitted photo)

By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

We’re sure the younger generation won’t believe this, but once upon a time, all college and pro games started at 1 p.m. Tailgating was in its infancy then and basically consisted of only a sandwich, side and cold drink. There was no need to vary menus.

Today however, early games put tailgaters at the stadium in the early morning. Now they need a breakfast type pre-game menu. We’ve served everything from eggs and bacon, pancakes and sausage, to breakfast casseroles, but heating and cooking with multiple burners and an oven gets pretty tough for the casual tailgater. Couldn’t there be something easy to serve and eat that brings out gasps of pleasure like “”Oh my!” and “Wow, this is good!”

Here’s a simple breakfast treat that replaces the breakfast casserole. It can be made the day before and reheated at the game and will bring raves from those that enjoy your tailgate.

Amazing Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients

4 cups shredded potatoes or hash browns, thawed

1 small onion diced

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

12 links Pre-cooked JOHNSONVILLE® Original Breakfast Sausage

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cups (4 ounces) Shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cups (4 ounces) Shredded Colby Jack cheese

2 oz. cream cheese cut into 12 cubes

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

Chives or green onion to garnish

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Prepare sausage according to package instructions, cool, and cut each link into 6 pieces and set aside.

3. In a bowl mix/combine potatoes, onion, butter, salt and pepper; divide evenly into 12 greased muffin cups pressing mixture onto sides and bottom of muffin cups.

4. Bake at 400°F for 14 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Remove muffin tin from the oven and divide sausage pieces into muffin cups.

6. Place 1/12 of the cream cheese into each muffin cup atop the sausage slices.

7. In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper.

8. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups.

9. Sprinkle the tops with chives or green onions.

10. Return tin to the oven and bake 13-15 minutes or until set.

Cool these muffins and refrigerate overnight. On game day heat them on your covered grill or tailgate oven on a sheet of foil. Serve with French’s Dijon mustard with Chardonnay as a dipping sauce.

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