COLUMN: Breakfast casserole good and fattening

Every summer at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, different family groups prepare breakfast to serve to parishioners between services. Most of the time the menu includes some type of breakfast casserole; something sweet, like muffins or a coffee cake; and fresh fruit.
Sunday before last, my family group was in charge of feeding the masses. Donna Bridges, our family head, decided we’d prepare a Sausage and Rice Casserole that we’ve done in years past because it’s so popular.
The recipe actually came from Nancie Beard, another family group member. Most of us charged with making a casserole went ahead and made two, because the recipe calls for 11⁄2 pounds of sausage. It’s just easier to double the recipe than to end up with a half pound of sausage left over.
We asked Nancie why the recipe had an odd amount of sausage and she looked at us like we each had two heads.
“Duh,” she said. “I figured everyone would know to just go ahead and use 2 pounds of sausage. You should taste this when I make it at home. I use a whole stick of butter, too.”
This casserole is as delicious as it is fattening, and I’ll warn you right now it is salty. I suppose you could use reduced-sodium soups and unsalted butter, but really, now, what’s the point?
We served the casseroles with fresh fruit and a blueberry crisp that had a can of apple pie filling in it. I’m trying now to get that recipe from Donna so I can share it next week. It was outstanding.

Sausage and Rice Casserole
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
12 stick butter
12 pounds sausage, cooked and drained
1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Wild Rice, original flavor
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 soup cans water
1 small can mushrooms, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Sauté bell pepper and onion in butter. Drain well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Check rice for doneness and cook a half hour more, if needed.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

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