Are you one of those people who’s Thanksgiving preparation actually starts early in the morning? There’s always so much to get ready for the afternoon feast that breakfast can often end up getting the short end of the stick, but it doesn’t need to be like that.
I’m all for making Thanksgiving an easy day. Prepare this sausage cheese asparagus savory bake the night before and all you need to do is chuck it in the oven after you make your coffee if you’re like me. Seriously folks it’s the first thing I do every morning. You could even head back to bed for an hour while the bread pudding is baking…if you don’t have an 8 year old and a 3 year old. If you do have said children, then yeah you’re getting up. But you could still use your time wisely and after typing out numerous “Happy Thanksgiving” tweets you could have the turkey resting at room temperature and water boiling for the potatoes.
This bread pudding is packed with flavor but the deal sealer is the cheese. I used Kerrygold Skellig Cheddar. This is a sweet hard cheese which reminds me of a young Parmesan. It’s sweet but with a salty aftertaste and would be prefect in a pasta sauce, or even just grated on top like Parmesan. I added it in layers much like building a lasagna, this way you get to taste all of the flavors in every bite. Make the most of November 28, but be sure to start as soon as you open your eyes!
Sausage Cheese Asparagus Savory Bake
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 ounces breakfast sausages meat removed from the casing
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 16 ounce crusty loaf cut into 1 inch cubes
- 8-10 pieces thin asparagus spears chopped into 1-2 inches long
- 7 ounce Skellig Irish cheddar grated
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and cook the sausage. Transfer to another dish and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the onion and saute over a medium heat until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the milk, cream, eggs and rosemary to a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Mix the cubed bread into the milk mixture along with the onion, sausage and asparagus. Make sure to cover all of the bread in the milk mixture.
- Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or grease a 9 x 13 baking pan or similar sized dish.
- Before baking transfer 1/3 of the mixture to your baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle some of the cheese over the bread.
- Lay another layer on top and sprinkle generously with more cheese. Finish with a third layer of the bread mixture.
- Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes and the top is golden brown. Also check by inserting a sharp knife into the middle and checking for dryness. The center should also be springy to the touch.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving with additional grated cheese on top if desired.