the 24-hour omelet
Our friend Lloyd was visiting from D.C., and Brian and Jennifer organized a breakfast so that all of us could see him. Brian and Jennifer are tremendous hosts, so it is no surprise that a meal advertised as bagels and coffee turned out to be a first-class spread with wonderful fruit, delicious home-made muffins and a fantastic egg dish that was quite light, fluffy and flavorful.
Hours later, after we were stuffed with breakfast and we were still savoring the delightful Ceretto Santo Stefano Muscato d’Asti Brian had opened to torture James, I asked Jennifer how she made the delicious eggs. She pulled a Cooks Illustrated cookbook from the shelf and directed me to the recipe for the 24-Hour “Omelet” as refined in America’s Test Kitchen.
The recipe needs to be made at least 8 hours in advance, and it can be prepared as early as 36-hours before. It is easy enough for someone like me to follow, and it is perfect for entertaining. The only thing you have to do the morning of your brunch is slide the casserole dish into your pre-heated oven and serve the masterpiece 1 hour later.
serves 6 to 8
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
10 slices white sandwich bread
12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
8 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 small onion, grated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Spread the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over 1 side each of the 10 slices of bread. Cut the bread into 1-inch pieces. Scatter half of the bread evenly in the prepared dish and cover with half of the grated cheddar cheese. Add the remain bread and cover with the remaining cheese
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, onion, salt, pepper, mustard and Tabasco together in a medium bowl. Pour evenly over the bread and press the bread cubes lightly to submerge. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to achieve the desired consistency
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and placed the refrigerated dish on the middle positioned rack. Baked until puffed and golden brown (60 minutes) and serve immediately