Friday, November 7, 2014

One Great . . . brunch casserole

Would you argue with a Church Lady? Actually, as a church lady myself, I can't promise not to argue. But I definitely don't argue with Anne Byrn.

Anne is a food writer and former newspaper food editor in Nashville. And ever since she started with her "Cake Mix Doctor" books, she's been pointing the way to very easy but very tasty food. (If you want a cake mix that doesn't have food dyes and artificial flavors, keep an eye out for her Cake Mix Doctor cake mixes, sold at Harris Teeter. They cost more, but they're worth it.)

Byrn's new project is "Anne Byrn Saves the Day Cookbook" (Workman, $18.95), one of those books loaded with simple recipes that will come in handy. Her Church Lady Casserole came from her Aunt Janet, and it's perfect for holiday brunches. You can make it advance, and use it to fill out a spread, or you can jazz it up by adding diced ham or cooked sausage.

With family-gathering season coming up, I'd keep the Church Lady Casserole very handy.

Church Lady Casserole

From "Anne Byrn Saves the Day Cookbook."

2 (16-ounce) containers (4 cups total) cottage cheese
6 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces Velveeta cheese (or Mexican-seasoned), cut into 1-inch cubes
About 1/4 teaspoon salt
About 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

PLACE a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

PLACE the cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl and add the eggs. Blend using an electric mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon until the eggs are incorporated. Add the melted butter, flour and cheese, stirring until just combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

POUR into a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Bake until golden brown and puffy, about 45 to 60 minutes. Serve at once.

MAKE AHEAD: Assemble the casserole the day before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Uncover and bake directly from the refrigerator, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes longer than the time called for in the recipe.

YIELD: 8 to 10 servings.



Jim Pearson said...

That's like Church Lady bechamel sauce. You could stretch any meat and use up just about any leftover with that.