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I always say I'm not really a breakfast person, but to be honest, I don't even know where that comes from. My dad used to make us delicious brunches with Mickey Mouse chocolate chip pancakes, french toast, eggs, hashbrowns, etc., and I never complained. In college, I wasn't big on eggs, but if you asked any of my friends who used to crash on my couch, I made some mean breakfast potatoes and I would never pass up an opportunity to house some loaded tots at Burrito Loco. I suppose I say I'm not a breakfast person because if you gave me the choice, I would almost always pick macaroni and cheese or a cheeseburger over traditional breakfast grub, but I'm working on it - and this egg bake is enough to convert me most days.
My husband informed me that for his mom's surprise 60th birthday brunch, I was in charge of making "that really great egg bake you made over Christmas". I had no idea what his family was talking about. After much deliberation yesterday, I realized what I had actually made was a sausage and cheese stuffed croissant and individual egg-bake cups. This egg bake clearly wasn't exactly what they had asked for but it definitely did not leave anyone disappointed.
We were supposed to bring it over for brunch and have it ready when his parents got home from church. I went back and forth on how best to approach this but remembered I had this great Anchor transport system. I prepped the bacon, mushrooms and shallots the night before as well as cut the asparagus and shredded the cheese. Putting everything in plastic bags made for easy transport and helped make assembly a breeze the day of. The morning of I whisked together the eggs, milk, cheese and spinach. That went in a plastic bag as well, and all got put in the pan to transport to the in-laws. All that was left was to combine ingredients in the baking dish and bake for an hour - this could not be easier and everyone loved it! There wasn't a single piece left.
The only thing I forgot to add to this dish was the best secret ingredient for eggs ever - Dijon Mustard. I would highly recommend adding a tablespoon or two to your egg mixture. It adds a super subtle tang that no one will be able to put their finger on. You're welcome.
1 lb. bacon - cooked and crumbled
16 oz. white mushrooms - roughly chopped
1 bundle (or about 1 1/2 c.) asparagus - cut into 1 inch pieces
4 shallots - thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic - minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 T butter
1 t. dried rosemary
1 t. dried thyme
3/4 c. milk
1 c. cheese + 2 c. for topping (I used a pesto-infused Cheddar/Gruyere mix, but a Fontina or Gouda would be great too - or any cheese, let's be real)
1 handful baby spinach
Slice bacon into lardons and cook over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towel lined plate to dry. Drain all but 2 T. of bacon grease.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add shallots to pan with bacon grease and cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir to combine. Add garlic, salt and pepper, rosemary and thyme. Cook over medium high heat stirring frequently until most liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned (10 to 15 minutes)
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add 1 c. of cheese and spinach, stirring to combine.
Place asparagus, mushroom/shallot mixture and bacon in a 13" x 9" baking dish. Top with egg mixture. Stir to distribute evenly. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until eggs are cooked through and top begins to brown.