Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ham & Cheese Brunch Squares


2 cups Colby & Monterey Jack cheese blend, shredded, divided
1 pkg (22.5 oz) frozen toaster hash brown patties, thawed (10 patties)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
12 eggs
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
8 oz thickly sliced deli ham
4-5 green onions with tops, divided (about 1 cup sliced)
3 plum tomatoes
Additional coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly brush large jelly roll pan with vegetable oil. Crumble hash browns over pan; press gently into an even layer. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over hash browns. Bake 13-15 minutes or until crust starts to brown and cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add eggs and black pepper; whisk until smooth. Coarsely chop ham. Slice green onions, reserving 1/4 cup of the tops for garnish. Place ham and remaining green onions into 8-in. sauté pan; cook and stir over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until hot. Stir ham mixture into egg mixture.

Remove pan from oven. Pour egg mixture over crust. Return pan to oven; bake 6-8 minutes or until center is set. Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half lengthwise; scrape out seeds and dice.

Remove pan from oven; top with remaining cheese, tomatoes and reserved green onions. Sprinkle with additional black pepper, if desired. Cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 12 servings (generous sized)

NOTE: This is a Pampered Chef recipe. If you have the large stoneware bar pan, it's perfect for making this dish. Also, the first time I made it I used the hashbrown patties that look like the kind you get at McDonald's this is what the recipe calls for. This time I couldn't find those so I used shredded hashbrowns and it didn't work as well. Tater tots might work in a pinch.

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