Ham-and-Cheese Croissant Casserole

Wow!  This breakfast casserole is a keeper!  Since I “poisoned” my husband with sausage one year ago, my mom and I were on the search for something sans (without) sausage!!! (My husband, Matt, had the worse case of food poisoning last January due to two-week old sausage, and lost 9 pounds in just 12 hours…wonderful New Years Resolution if you ask me! Haha, just kidding.  Once Matt was feeling better, he said to me, “If there was an “easy” button I could press, where I could die and go to Heaven, I would have pressed it.”  He was that miserable!   With me being only 90 pounds, Matt said I probably would have had to go to the hospital if I had food poisoning like he did.)

Well, my mom and I succeeded in our mission, and found this Ham-and-Cheese Croissant Casserole out of the Southern Living Magazine from November 2009.  Our entire family loved it!  It tastes fancier than your typical breakfast casserole dish of cheddar, sausage, eggs, and French bread.  By fancier, I mean, “French-like”.  I really feel like I am eating at La Madeleine or sitting in the streets of Paris, France when I eat this casserole.  The casserole is wonderful with the buttery, flakey croissants we bought from Main Street Bakery in Grapevine, Texas.   In addition, the delicious flavors of honey, dried mustard, and nutmeg really add that “punch” and quiche-like flavor to this ham-and-cheese breakfast dish.  You can substitute leftover baked ham for chopped ham in this dish.  Nutmeg is optional, but adds a subtle touch of spice.  Also, Gruyere cheese can be substituted for Swiss cheese.  Gruyere is a cream-colored and firm cheese, like Swiss, however it is softer and smoother, and has smaller and infrequent “eyes” or holes.  Both are great melting cheeses.  Both have a rich, and somewhat nutty taste that is distinctive, yet not overpowering.

Make this for your next Sunday brunch and be sure to double the recipe if you are having more than 4 people.  Between my mom, dad, husband, and me, we completely cleaned our plates, as well as the pie plate the casserole was in!  Enjoy!

Cut croissants in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 or 5 pieces.  Place croissant pieces in a buttered deep dish 10-inch pie plate.

Top with cooked, diced ham, and shredded swiss cheese.  (We left 1/3 of the casserole “cheese free” because my dad hates cheese, unless it’s on pizza!)

Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, dry mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Pour egg mixture over croissants, ham, and cheese.  Press down gently on the croissants to submerge them in the egg mixture.

Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 35 minutes, covered.  Uncover, and bake an additional 25-30 minutes, or until browned and set.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Slice and serve with fruit and an english muffin with jam, like we did!



Ham-and-Cheese Croissant Casserole
Ingredients
3 (5-inch) large croissants
1 (8-oz.) package chopped cooked ham
1 (5-oz.) package shredded Swiss cheese
6 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 tbsp. dry mustard
2 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)

Directions
1.  Cut croissants in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 4 to 5 pieces.  Place croissant pieces in a lightly greased 10-inch deep-dish pie plate.  Top with ham and cheese.
2.  Whisk together eggs, next 5 ingredients, and if desired, nutmeg in a large bowl.
3. Pour egg mixture over mixture in pie plate, pressing croissants down to submerge in egg mixture.  Cover tightly, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
4.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Bake, covered 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and set.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield:  4-6 servings
“Southern Living Magazine”, November 2009

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