Perfect New Year's Breakfast: Tater Tot Bake or Quiche
Yes, the internet and your recipe file are most likely awash with gazillions of listings for breakfast bakes, but this one is worth keeping and baking up for breakfast for New Year's Day, or any other day, for that matter. The bake, or quiche without a crust, if you prefer that name, is simple to put together, requires ingredients that aren't hard to find or expensive, and is really good. Even breakfast bake haters probably will go for it. What's in it? Well, as the name indicates, tater tots. Yes, those frozen things you find in the freezer case that foodies turn up their noses at but that everyone secretly, or not so secretly, loves. To keep the fat and calories in check for a leaner new year, the bake also includes turkey sausage and low-fat milk. The bake does include plenty of cheese, so it is a filling dish. Although I use mostly cheddar cheese, the bake is the perfect opportunity to gather up all those bits of leftover shredded cheese you have lingering in the refrigerator and include them--a little Mexican blend, a little Italian blend, ooh, there's a smidge of Swiss left in that packet (you get the idea). It's best to assemble the dish the night before you plan to bake it. Then, in the morning, as the oven heats up, put the uncovered dish in the microwave for 5 or 6 minutes to begin the cooking process and warm the dish. Move the bake to the oven, once it's hot, and then cook the bake for about 45 minutes more. You'll have an easy and incredibly good start to your New Year's Day with minimum hassles. Oh, and if you want to dress the bake up, feel free to sprinkle chopped chives or green onions on top before serving it. Sliced tomatoes also work nicely as a garnish.
Tater Tot Bake/Quiche -- Serves 6+
2-3 teaspoons of canola oil
16 ounces of turkey breakfast sausage
1-2 chopped bell peppers, preferably red or yellow or both
1 small chopped onion
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of low-fat milk (I use 1 percent)
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
5-6 cups of tater tots (about 2/3 of a 32 ounce bag--I use Aldi's)
2 cups of shredded cheese (whatever you have--cheddar, Monterey Jack, blends, Swiss,
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and peppers and saute them a few minutes. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook it until it's done and browned a bit. While the veggies and sausage cook, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and pepper. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan or dish with non-stick cooking spray and spread the tater tots in the pan in one layer. Spread the cooked veggie/sausage mixture over the tater tots. Spread the shredded cheeses evenly over the veggie/sausage mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Press down with a spoon on the top of the mixture to even everything out a little and ensure that everything gets some of the egg/milk mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The next morning, remove the plastic, microwave the bake for 5-6 minutes until it's hot and cooking around the edges, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. When the oven is hot, cover the bake with foil (spray the side of the foil that will be face-down on the bake with a little non-stick cooking spray first), and bake the dish for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking the dish until the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let the bake/quiche sit for 10-15 minutes for easier serving.