Breakfast tailgates for noon games

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By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Due to the curse of television, so many games now kick-off at noon. For tailgaters, that means we find ourselves in the parking lot at 9:30 or earlier. Not too many adults want to eat hot wings or bar-B-Q ribs and beer for breakfast. We tend to like our eggs, bacon, ham, toast and coffee, juice or even Bloody Marys. So, the question becomes what is easy and able to satisfy the morning hunger of tailgaters? The dish we propose is easy to prepare and easy to serve quickly to hungry guests. It’s a cheesy, meaty, tasty breakfast casserole. We first tasted this dish way back in 1996 at a tailgate party at a big ten game between Purdue and Northwestern.

Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

8 slices of Pepperidge Farm or similar type white bread

8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

8 oz. cream cheese

4 oz. green drained chili peppers

8 oz pkg. Canadian Bacon, sliced

1/4 cup green pepper

12 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Dash of garlic salt

Dash of red pepper

1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation:

Cut bread into cubes including the crust. Arrange evenly in greased, shallow three-quart casserole dish. Cut the Canadian bacon slices into 1/2-inch cubes and then cover the bread with them. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack, cheddar and cream cheeses and green peppers and top with chili peppers. In a large bowl, beat eggs until mixed, and stir in milk, mustard, red pepper and garlic salt. Pour this mixture over casserole mix, cover with foil and chill overnight in refrigerator.

On game day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the dish, uncovered for about 50 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the center and will come out clean. Re-cover with foil and pack the dish in your warming cooler/heater or in the bottom of a cardboard box covered by newspaper and then your buns, etc. Heat the dish at your tailgate on your grill or stove until warm inside.

A sauce is often appreciated by guests with a taste for more spicy foods. We combine dijon mustard with mayonnaise to make a creamy sauce (to taste) that can accompany the casserole. Some people may even want to add a little horseradish to this sauce.

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