The egg, sausage and hash brown casserole has been a staple for many people’s Christmas day breakfast brunch. I’m no holiday historian, but I’d guess the origins came from those hectic holiday mornings, cramming all the essential breakfast foods into a casserole so as the sounds of wrapping paper ripping whips through the house, breakfast is cooking itself. And when the kids are clamoring to leave the dining table to get back to presents and playing, if they eat just a few bites, they are almost getting their full breakfast. Plus it is a perfect comfort food on a cold winter days.
I decided to put a Southwest spin on this classic, so it has a bit more spice, heat and flavor than your grandmother’s hash brown casserole. It is very easy to prep and put together so you can spend your time focusing on how to get batteries into a screaming kid’s new toy.
• 3 medium potatoes – cleaned, unpeeled
o OR premade hash browns – thawed if frozen (do not thaw in microwave!)
• 1 pound ground chorizo
o (if you have chorizo sausage links, open the links and pull out the sausage. Discard the link casings.) My grocery keeps this in the meat area near the pork sausage.
• 1 small white onion chopped
• 3 jalapeno peppers – deseeded & chopped finely
o too hot for you? Replace with green or red bell peppers
• 1.5 cups Mexican cheese mix (or your choice) – reserve ¼ cup for topping
• ½ cup sour cream
• 4 medium eggs
• 1/2 cup cream, milk or half & half
• Tablespoon garlic powder
• Tablespoon onion powder
• ¼ cup finely chopped chives
• 2 teaspoons smoky paprika
• ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
• 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
• Black pepper
• Coarse salt
• Pam nonstick spray
• ½ cup thick salsa – I use Ortega Thick & Chunky Medium
• Thin salsa or picante sauce will be too watery – be sure to use a thick, chunky salsa
• Santa Fe Tortilla Strips – crunchy salad topping (found in the salad toppings aisle) or crumbled nacho cheese chips will work too.
• Two strips of crispy cooked bacon – crumbled and reserved for topping
• Cilantro finely chopped to garnish
• Garnish with salsa and sour cream
1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees
2. Shred full potatoes with peels creating hash browns in food processor using shred accessory wheel.
• If using frozen hash browns, be sure they are thawed naturally (not in microwave.) You can buy unfrozen hash browns in the egg department of your grocery store, typically.
3. Put the raw hash browns in paper towels and squeeze a bit to take out some of the moisture.
4. Put aside potatoes.
5. In a medium skillet (no oil) brown chorizo, white onions, chopped jalapeno until sausage is cooked through. DO NOT DRAIN oil. (Should not be much oil as chorizo is a pretty lean sausage.) Do not over cook the sausage.
6. In a mixing bowl, add sausage mix, shredded potatoes, 1 & 1/4 cup of the cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper to taste. Fold together, set aside.
7. In separate bowl, scramble 4 eggs, add pepper, salt, cayenne, cumin, chives, milk/cream, salt and pepper – whisk together.
8. Spray a casserole pan with Pam
9. Pour hash brown, sausage, cheese mix into the pan – spread evenly across bottom of pan
10. Cover base layer with spoonfuls of thick salsa to create a thin layer – not too thick
11. Pour egg mixture over salsa layer
12. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese on top of egg layer
13. Cover the top with tortilla strips
14. Bake for 45 minutes – egg layer should not be runny
15. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with crispy bacon bits
16. Sprinkle baked casserole with fresh cilantro
17. Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.
Feliz Navidad! Enjoy your Southwest Chorizo Breakfast Casserole any time of the year!