Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recipe: Make Ahead Christmas Day Brunch

This wonderful, filling but light pie can be made the day ahead and warmed up when ready to serve the next day.  I like to make it on Christmas Eve and refrigerate it until mid morning on Christmas when everyone is a little hungry and can't wait until Christmas dinner is ready to be served later that day.  It's filling yet light enough that it won't stay with you so long that you and your family won't be hungry by the time your Christmas dinner is served.  I love the color combination of the green broccoli in the pie with the red salsa served along side - it really makes for a Christmas-y, festive celebration brunch or luncheon.  This pie is also very, very good when served with Hollandaise sauce drizzled over it but, as you know, this adds a LOT of fat and calories to the otherwise light, healthy luncheon.

Broccoli Rice Pie
1 1/2 C hot cooked rice (if you're making this with left over steamed rice that is cold, simply heat it through in the microwave for about one minute)
10 - 14 oz cooked chopped broccoli, cooled slightly (I prefer the larger amount of broccoli)
3 eggs
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
6 oz. grated cheddar cheese (for persons requiring a low sodium diet, substitute with Swiss cheese which has far less than half the amount of sodium that most other cheese has)
1/2 C plus 2 Tbsp. whole (or 2 %) milk
salt, pepper (omit salt for low sodium diets)
Your favorite salsa, hot sauce, or Hollandaise sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine rice, one egg (slightly beaten), 1/2 of the cheese, and salt and pepper (if used).  Mix well.
Layer rice mixture in bottom of a 8" deep dish pie pan (or a 9" will do, if you don't have a deep dish 8" pan)
Beat remaining 2 eggs slightly; stir in (cooled) broccoli, the mushrooms, and milk.  Add salt and pepper (if desired).  Mix well and spoon over rice layer in pie dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, until pie is firm in the middle and edges are slightly browned.  Don't over cook because you're going to bake it longer, see next step...
Remove pie from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over top of pie.  
Bake 10 minutes longer.
Remove pie and allow to stand for 5 minutes, it will continue cooking while standing.
Serve with Hollandaise sauce or salsa, or hot sauce (optional)

Merry Christmas everyone!