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Monday, July 19, 2010

Paula Deen’s Hash Brown Casserole

Wow, I went for two days without posting a new blog article - we had a busy weekend. Our son and his wife came to stay with us for two days because they were attending a wedding. Saturday, my wife’s family had a gathering so we attended that and I took Bonnie’s Baked Beans and Sunshine Cake, both were a huge success. On Sunday, I decided to make the Paula Deen Hash Brown Casserole. I watched her TV program when she made it and I thought it looked good, so I printed the recipe and waiting until we had some company to make it.

I made the casserole and about the time I took it out of the oven, I noticed a pain in my left lower back that was getting worse. I remembered the downside to potluck family dinners, is you never quite know how someone else handles their food. I let our family eat while I went a laid down to see if the pain would subside. No such luck, I had several bouts of nausea, but none of the other effects of food poisoning. A quick check of the internet showed the appendix on the right side, so that’s not the problem. After suffering with this for 12 hours, my wife convinced me to go to the ER at 9:30 pm to see if I had a kidney stone. After three hours and pokes, prods, and a CT scan, the results came back that outside of a slightly inflamed kidney, all the tests were normal. The doctor thought I might have a pulled muscle, but to take Tylenol, which has eliminated the pain. However, I lost a full day while lying in bed trying to get comfortable and sleeping.

I confirmed my decision to make this recipe for breakfast when I got up Sunday morning and everyone else was asleep (they had a late night). I had already thawed my one pound of Jimmy Dean Maple Sausage and rummaged around in the freezer to find a loaf of buttermilk bread.

I started by melting the butter in a large skillet while I chopped one-half a white onion. I sautéed the onion while I trimmed the crusts off the slices of bread, this was very easy because the slices were still frozen. Into another skillet, I browned the bulk sausage, realizing after I put the sausage in the pan, the skillet was almost too small so I had to be careful while turning the sausage to keep if from flying out.

Once the onions were cooked, I added the half package of frozen hash browns to the skillet with the onions and cooked the hash browns for about five minutes. I had to switch from a rubber spatula to one made of metal so I could loosen the browning potatoes from the bottom of the stainless steel skillet. Once the potatoes were cooked, I spread them in the bottom of my prepared 9x13 inch glass-baking pan.

On top of the potatoes, I spread the bread cubes over the potatoes and the sausage over the bread cubes. I quickly mixed the egg and 2% milk with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mustard. I poured the egg mixture over the top of the three layers in the baking pan trying to coat all the bread cubes. I shredded the parmesan and cheddar cheeses and spread them over the casserole then put in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

By now everyone else in the house was up and ready to eat. When the casserole finished cooking, I took removed it from the oven, set it on top of the stove, and told everyone to dig in, and then I left to deal with my back pain.

I still have not tasted the casserole because the thought of it makes me feel a little nauseous. Everyone who ate the casserole really like the flavors, taste and texture, though it is very rich. Fortunately, my wife has agreed to freeze the remainder because I am not sure I could look at it right now. I do look forward to tasting it in the future, and it seems to be a hit when you have a group people for breakfast.

Find the recipe here:

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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