Finally got my 2 nights off and as I looked inside my fridge, I saw asparagus, baby bella mushrooms starting to wilt and I needed to empty my fridge to accomodate my 15 pound turkey to thaw by Saturday . As per USDA food safety guidelines, you should cook the turkey immediately after you do the cold water thawing, allowing 30 minutes per pound, thus a 12 to 16 pound turkey needs 6 to 8 hours and water is to be changed every 30 minutes. However, thawing in the refrigerator requires 24 hours per 5 pounds therefore a 15 pound turkey needs 3 days inside the refrigerator, placed in a container to prevent leakage and a fully thawed turkey can still remain in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before cooking. So guys, let’s have a safe turkey thawing. Enough of my turkey tangent, let’s get back to my casserole.
Here’s how I need to think fast or my vegetables will soon go to the garbage bin. Let’s prepare this casserole.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of asparagus (ends snapped, cut in very small rounds but leave the spears 1 and 1/2 inch long)
24 oz. Organic Baby Bella Mushrooms
1 piece day old French baguette (broken into small pieces)
3 links of Italian fennel sausage (boiled and sliced in thin rounds)
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup sliced leeks
6-8 pieces of cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 red mini peppers (seeded and julienned)
3 orange mini peppers (seeded and julienned)
1/2 tsp. each of Himalayan salt and ground black pepper (to season the asparagus)
2 cans 12 fl oz. Carnation evaporated milk
4 pieces sundried tomatoes (sliced thinly)
1 piece Chipotle in adobo sauce (seeded and chopped finely with gloved hands)
2 tsp. ground yellow mustard
2 and 1/4 cups shredded cheeses
1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely chopped peppercorns
1. Spray Pam in a non-stick Caphalon pan and throw in the Italian sausage rounds, stir until fat gets extracted then throw in minced garlic to flavor the sausage until fragrant. Add the leeks and the Chipotle pepper then the mini peppers and half of the scallions. Gather them and put aside in a bowl.
2. With the same pan, sauté the asparagus for 2 minutes, season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper and add the mushrooms for another 2 minutes until mushroom sweats, then the asparagus spears for the last minute, stirring well, turn off the stove and cover the pan, then place on a huge glass bowl to cool down.
3. Break the eggs into another large bowl add 2 cans of evaporated milk, stir in mustard, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of coarsely ground black pepper with an electric mixer in medium speed.
4. Gradually stir in sausage, sauteed asparagus/mushrooms, sauteed mini peppers, 2 cups only of shredded cheese, remaining sliced scallions. Stir well and taste to adjust seasoning as per preference.
5. Spray Pam in a very wide, 9 by 13 sturdy baking dish and spread the few bread slices then ladle the solids into the tray leaving the liquid for later. Once fully packed, arrange the asparagus spears in the middle of the mixture and arrange the halved cherry tomatoes around the middle of the mixture. Ladle the liquid into the tray making sure you cover the whole tray. Push down the mixture with the palm of your hand so the hard baguette gets soaked with the liquid.
6. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese avoiding the asparagus spears in the middle and keep the halved tomatoes peeking through the sprinkled cheeses. This is how it should look before baking.
7. Bake at 375ºF for 25-30 minutes until the eggs are set and puffy. Let it cool down and you can eat it now or you can freeze it and take out this coming Thanksgiving Day if suddenly you are confronted with more unannounced guests, just set aside on the kitchen table for 30 minutes before re-heating in the oven until heated through. Problem solved.
You can make it all vegetarian by omitting sausage and adding caramelized onion instead. Hey elliebleu and all my dearest vegetarians, you can make this recipe by replacing all meat based ingredients with plant-based ingredients.Okay?
– Peaches, Masarap!!!