From the kitchen of Lorie Fangio
It’s so much fun to have guests in the house over the holidays. Consider planning a cozy breakfast or brunch and making it special this year. We’ve shared a few of our favorites that are sure to have your guests lingering at the table.
Spinach Bacon Breakfast Casserole
12 large eggs
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyere or other cheese
1 12 ounce package frozen chopped spinach
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning vegetables
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9″ X 13 “glass baking dish very well. Thaw and drain spinach, removing all moisture by patting with a paper towel. Melt butter in a chef’s pan set over medium heat and add the onions and peppers. Season with salt and cook until soft and all liquid has evaporated 7-8 minutes. Spread the onion mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish, add spinach in a layer. Sprinkle on bacon and last Gruyere cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the center of the pan, slowly. Top casserole with parmesan cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes until puffed and browned.
*Editor’s note: I sliced some leftover breakfast sausage links and sprinkled on top prior to cooking. I also used fresh spinach instead of frozen.
Cinnamon Pecan Wreath
20 frozen uncooked bread rolls
1 stick of butter, melted
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cinnamon
1 cup pecans chopped
12 whole pecan halves
1 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 small orange, zested and juiced
THE DAY BEFORE BAKING/SERVING:
- Grease a medium mixing bowl and place frozen rolls in the bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
THE DAY OF BAKING/SERVING:
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough to a large rectangle about 13″ X 22″.
- Brush the rectangle with melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the butter. Next, sprinkle on chopped pecans.
- Roll dough lengthwise into a log. Bring the two ends of the log together to form a ring and pinch the dough to seal the ring.
- Using kitchen scissors, cut into the ring every 1-2 inches, about 2/3 of the way through the ring forming slices. *NOTE the slices are still connected to the body of dough. Do not cut all the way through the ring. Pull each slice and twist slightly towards the right so that the cut section lays slightly on it’s side. (see below) Continue twisting all the slices. Your cinnamon ring will resemble a wreath.
- Cover the wreath with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about one hour.
- Bake wreath for 30-35 minutes. If wreath is getting too brown, tent it with foil while it continues to bake.
- Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, the seeds from the vanilla pod, salt, the zest and 2 tablespoons of juice in a bowl and mix well. Drizzle glaze over bread ring and garnish the top with pecan halves.
For more of Lorie’s recipes, visit our McKinney Kitchens page.