Broccoli and Sausage Casserole

Casseroles seem to be my favorite. They’re a little elaborate. And my recipe is something I’ve come up with myself. It’s not quite something I’ve seen on any recipes online. So I won’t vouch for the authenticity of my casserole. I will, however, vouch for its taste.

Ingredients:
1. 4 eggs
2. 1-1.5 cups of milk
3. A bowlful of broccoli, cut to inch-sized pieces
4. 6-8 sausages, of your choice: plain boiled, smoked, anything is fine, cut to small pieces
5. 1 onion thinly sliced
6. 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
7. 6-8 slices of bread, slightly toasted, edges cut off
8. Butter, for greasing
9. Olive oil, for cooking
10. 1 green chilly, sliced long
11. Salt, to taste
12. Crushed pepper corn
13. Grated cheese (I’m quite a cheese fan, so I used a mixture of Italian Cheese and Extra Sharp Cheddar and I further used Mozzarella for the topping, but any kind of grated cheese should work just fine.)
14. Basil, to garnish
15. Oregano, to garnish

Method:
1. Grease a baking pan (I use my 9″ diameter cake pan) with butter. Roughly break the bread into pieces about 2 inches by 1 inch and press to the bottom of the pan. Press down the entire base of the pan with pieces of bread closely laid out. Remember, when you add ingredients to this and put it in to bake, the final product should be able to be cut into pie-like pieces. Firmly arranging the bread closely enough at the bottom of the pan is a simple way of creating a crust (of sorts).
2. In a pan, take some olive oil. When it is sufficiently hot, add the garlic to it. You will get a faint aroma of the garlic once it begins to brown. Add the green chilly followed by the onions. Saute the onions until just lightly golden. Add the broccoli to it. Add some salt to taste and crushed peppercorn to this. Stir for a while and add the sausages. Continue stirring until cooked.
3. Pre-heat your oven, set at about 350 F..
4. Empty the contents that you have just cooked into the baking pan. Ensure that the baking pan is filled just a little under the rim.
5. In another bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly and add milk and mix well.
6. Add this mixture to the baking pan, over the veggies and meat. You should ensure that the egg and milk mixture fills the pan to the level of the mixture of the meat and veggies.
7. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the pan liberally. Add some oregano and basil on top.
8. Place the baking tray in your oven for about 40-45 minutes. Check on your casserole at regular intervals to see if it has risen slightly and if the top is beginning to turn a rich golden brown. You will know your casserole is done if you stick a knife into it and when you pull it out, it comes out smoothly and greasy. (Remember, cake baking tips?)
9. Cut out pie-shaped slices and serve into plates.

Variations:
You could use any mixture of vegetables and/or meat of your choice. The following are suggestions:
1. Potatoes (mashed), garlic, green chillies, coriander, finely chopped/thinly sliced onions, corn, carrots.
2. Corn, sausages, broccoli, green chillies, thinly sliced onions.
3. Add bacon to 1.
4. Add bacon to 2.
5. Sausage could be replaced by chunks of (or shredded) chicken or turkey.
6. Try being creative, it won’t do you any harm.

Notes:
1. I’ve never tried using tomatoes for the recipe. My experience with tomatoes and beaten eggs is that the juice from the tomatoes prevents the egg from cooking all the way. Omelets with tomatoes in them tend to be goo-ey. And I hate that. I wouldn’t recommend tomatoes for this recipe.
2. I think my casseroles go best with garlic toast and, maybe, some soup or a glass of wine or a couple of beers.
3. If the spice level on the casserole is not too high, chilli flakes or hot sauce can be used. I’ve had a friend eat it with mayonnaise and thoroughly enjoy it.
4. The image here: Grad life implies near poverty. This is what I use for a table when I get baking dishes inside my room. 🙂

5. This image was taken after I’d let the cheese brown some more, just for kicks and prettiness.

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