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A baked egg casserole can take many forms, but it primarily features eggs as the main ingredient along with anything from sausage and cheese to tomato sauce and bread. The eggs are usually added raw to the casserole and then cooked in the oven, sometimes scrambled and sometimes left whole, although some recipes cook the eggs before adding them to a casserole. Depending on the size of the baked egg casserole, it can take nearly an hour for the eggs to cook through in an oven. Many recipes create unique breakfast casseroles that can be served straight from the pan, while others focus more on creating an egg-based dinner casserole.
Baking eggs in an oven can present potential problems that go unseen until it's too late. One problem that a baked egg casserole can face, especially if the eggs are the dominant liquid in the pan, is that the eggs could start to burn on the top and bottom before fully cooking on the inside. This can be avoided by stirring the eggs while they bake or by covering the casserole dish.
A very simple baked egg casserole involves placing beaten eggs in a buttered dish along with some cream and crumbled bacon or sausage. This mixture cooks for up to an hour, until it has properly set. A variation involves lining the bottom of the pan with slices of day-old bread, giving the casserole a little more structure.
One popular type of baked egg casserole uses different types of cheese. The eggs are placed in a dish and mixed with some nutmeg, Swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese and provolone cheese. A bit of flour also can be added to bind the ingredients together. The finished casserole can be served with toast and garnished with finely diced chives.
An Italian-style baked egg casserole that can be served as a dinner starts by lining the sides of a pan with bread and then pouring tomato sauce into the bottom. A number of eggs are cracked and gently placed on top of the tomato sauce without breaking them. The casserole is baked until it is cooked so each egg can be served with the sauce under it over a slice of the now toasted bread from the pan.
A heavier recipe for a baked egg casserole uses shredded potatoes mixed with some cream and eggs. Ground pork or bacon is added to the mixture along with finely diced green onions. Shredded cheese is placed on top and allowed to brown as the casserole cooks. Once finished, the dense casserole can be served with sour cream and diced chives.
I suspect using a meat thermometer would be the most accurate way to tell if the eggs were cooked through. Surely, if the temperature was over 150 in the middle, the eggs would be completely cooked.
If I make a baked egg casserole, I just run my knife down the middle of the casserole and kind of peek inside to see if I see any liquid. If not, then the casserole is probably done all the way through. If not, then I put it in the oven for five minute increments.
There are dozens of recipes for baked egg casseroles. Most of them are usually found under the heading "breakfast casserole."
The baking time usually depends on the number of eggs and how large the casserole it. A quiche is like a baked egg casserole, and it takes about 35 minutes to cook at 350 degrees F.
One good recipe does require some advance planning, since it sits overnight in the fridge and is then baked the next morning.
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