The first thing that your children run for on Christmas morning is likely presents under the tree. The first thing parents run for is the coffee pot. With all the chaos that Christmas morning often brings, why not think ahead with this make-ahead breakfast casserole!
The croissants make for a buttery base and the Gruyère, well, it makes it fancy, of course! Make the casserole the night before while in the kitchen watching the kids decorate cookies for Santa. Then the next morning while pouring your cup of coffee, pop it in the oven for your new delicious breakfast tradition.
• 1 lb. croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
• 1 bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
• ¾ lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
• 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
• 8 large eggs
• 3 cups whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
• 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
• 1 tsp. black pepper
1.Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, salt & pepper.
4. Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.