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Official Contest Entry: Simply Potatoes 5Fix. This recipe is my take on my mother's fail-proof breakfast casserole. I'm not sure where she first got the recipe but it's a hit with everyone who tastes it! We make this "egg bake" for every holiday brunch and it's regularly delivered to friends and neighbors with new babies or who are grieving which is where the love comes in. It's easily made ahead and just popped into the oven an hour before meal time. So many emotions and memories are tied up in this deceptively simple but definitively delicious breakfast casserole! Tip: I prefer Newman's Own Italian dressing, either lite or regular, in the small bottle.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 13" x 9" glass casserole dish.
- In a large saute pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Add the entire bag of the O'Brien potatoes and lightly salt and pepper the potatoes. Brown the potatoes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning, add more butter or oil if necessary.
- Add the browned potatoes to the 13" x 9" casserole, spreading to cover the bottom.
- Lightly brown the diced ham in the saute pan with a little bit of butter or oil, if necessary.
- Spoon the ham in an even layer on top of the potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese across the ham.
- Make-Ahead Tip: The casserole can be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with casserole lid or plastic wrap and foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, continue with the directions as written below. You may need to bake a bit longer since the ingredients will be cold.
- Crack all 12 eggs into a blender or food processor. Add a 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and 1/2 of the salad dressing (about 4 oz.). Blend until well combined and bubbles start to form on top of the egg mixture.
- Carefully pour egg mixture over the cheese, ham and potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the top of the eggs with the remaining dressing and shredded cheese.
- Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes to start to set the eggs. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees without removing the casserole or opening the oven door.
- Bake for another 40-50 minutes until the egg bake is set and the cheese on top is beautifully browned. You may check that the eggs are done by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the dish, it should be mostly dry.
- Slice in squares and serve alongside a fruit or green salad. This dish goes very well with a mimosa!