How I Cook: Croissant, Egg, and Cheese Casserole with Kale

2014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-2

Time changes a lot of things… Including tastes.

I remember a dish that my mom used to make when I was a kid… She called it “Oven Cheese Fondue.” I remember her being excited when she made it, but I wasn’t a fan. That’s putting it mildly.

I have no idea where the recipe came from (and I haven’t consulted my mother prior to writing this), but, if my memory serves me well, it was a casserole of eggs, milk, cheese, and bread. I’m sure there were other seasonings and flavors in there, but I wasn’t paying much attention to that at the time. I was more concerned with eating a casserole that contained soggy bread (which, in my mother’s defense, was probably not soggy… I was particularly picky about textures as a kid). And, the parts that weren’t soggy? Well, they were too crunchy. Obviously.

2014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-62014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-7

Fast forward a few (OK, more than a few) years. I’m a huge fan of bread puddings (i.e. soggy bread casseroles). Sweet or savory, it doesn’t matter. I’ll take any chance I get to soak some day (or two) old bread in eggs and milk and bake it until it puffs up just a bit. And, the crunchy edges… Those are the best part.

So, when I had some (store bought… yup) croissants left over from the little miss’s birthday party a few weeks ago, I knew they were destined for some casserole goodness. I whipped up my own version of the old oven cheese fondue with some kale thrown in for good measure. If you don’t have croissants, some day-old bread will be just fine.

There’s no need to stress over this one… This is an easy weeknight meal.  You can have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, it’s how I cook. No fuss, no frills.

2014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-1

Croissant, Egg, and Cheese Casserole with Kale
Serves 4 – 6

The measurements in this recipe are pretty flexible. Go with what you’ve got and trust your gut. You’ll be surprised what you can throw together on the fly!

To make a meal of it, add some roasted cherry tomatoes. Simply toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw them in the oven while the casserole bakes.

  • 5 stale croissants, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon garlic herb butter
    (you could use a tablespoon of butter and some minced garlic, as well)
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, divided
    (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

2014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-42014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-5

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking dish (I used an 8-inch square casserole) and arrange the stale croissant pieces in the dish. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Toss in the chopped kale and saute for a few minutes until the kale wilts down a bit. Add the kale and half of the cheese to the casserole and toss it with the croissants.

2014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-32014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-8

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Season with some salt and pepper. Stir the remaining half of the cheese into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture down over the casserole.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the casserole is golden and puffy and the middle is set.

2014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-92014-10-30_SavoryCroissantCasserole-10

2 Responses to How I Cook: Croissant, Egg, and Cheese Casserole with Kale