Few things in life are as wonderful as kicking back to watch your favorite NFL teams on Sundays, but the experience loses a little of its luster when you find yourself eating mediocre takeout. That’s where out Game Day Grub series comes in. Each week, we’ll bring you seven recipes for some of your favorite football foods. It’s going to be a delicious season.
It’s perfectly acceptable to eat brunch well into the late afternoon on weekends, so it seems a little strange the trend hasn’t extended to the football crowd. Eats like chorizo breakfast tacos and baked french toast with raspberries are too good to keep from your Sundays any longer. And many of these types of dishes can be prepared ahead of time, leaving you free to enjoy the game. Introduce the morning meal to your next football gathering with these seven recipes because breakfast food is always welcome.
1. Croque Madame Breakfast Casserole
A croque madame is basically the world’s best ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg. It’s the type of meal you eat when you want something incredibly satisfying. Unfortunately, the dish doesn’t lend itself very well to a large group of people. There’s too much assembly and fuss with cooking eggs.
Skip all that stress and make this simpler breakfast casserole from Bread Booze Bacon. Instead of building individual sandwiches, you layer cubes of bread, ham, cheese, and a béchamel in a baking dish. The whole thing goes into the oven and gets baked just until the eggs are cooked. So much easier, and just as delicious.
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 5 to 6 cups (½-inch) French bread cubes, divided
- 6 ounces white cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded, divided
- 4 ounces thinly sliced black forest ham, cut into bite-size pieces, divided
- 4 to 6 eggs
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, then sprinkle in the flour. Whisk and cook for about 1 minute. Add milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until mixture begins to thicken and bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in ½ cup cheese, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Keep warm.
Arrange half of the bread cubes in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Top with half of the ham and half of the remaining cheese. Cover mixture with half of the sauce. Repeat layers, ending with sauce sprinkled with cheese. Use a spoon to create a small indentation for each egg, then crack eggs into the prepared wells. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the dish. Casserole is done when egg whites have set. If needed, bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Serve.
2. Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy
Biscuits with sausage gravy are hard to beat. The only dish we can think of that steals the crown is Saveur’s recipe featuring a creamy gravy spiked with both sausage and bacon. This meal is rich as it is, but those who have a serious appetite will want to add some fried or scrambled eggs.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
- 3½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus 2 tablespoons melted
- 1½ cups buttermilk
Gravy and assembly
- 2 bacon slices, finely chopped
- 8 ounces pork breakfast sausage
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Hot sauce
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add chilled butter, and use fingers to rub mixture until pea-size crumbs form. Add buttermilk, and stir with a fork just to combine. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a 6-by-4-inch rectangle that’s 1 inch thick. Dip a 3-inch round cutter into flour, and cut out dough rounds. Brush a 9-inch cake pan with butter, and arrange biscuits in the pan. Brush tops with remaining melted butter. Bake until golden about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat renders, about 3 minutes. Add sausage, and continue to cook, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add milk and cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
Split biscuits in half, and cover with gravy. Serve with hot sauce.
3. Baked Raspberry-Almond French Toast
Basic French toast comes together pretty fast if you’re making if for just a few people. Once you’re cooking for more than a handful of guests, a baked version is the way to go. We like this recipe with almonds and raspberries from The Kitchen Paper. You can make it ahead of time, then just pop it in the oven about an hour before your friends show up. Maple syrup and powdered sugar make great toppings. We also suspect no one will object if you set out some chocolate sauce to drizzle over the casserole.
- 1 large loaf of crusty white bread, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
Directions: Arrange bread in the bottom of a baking dish, tearing pieces to fit, if necessary. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and almond extract to combine. Pour milk mixture over the bread. Cover pan with plastic wrap, and transfer to the fridge. Refrigerate casserole overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the casserole. Scatter berries over the top, then evenly sprinkle with almonds. Transfer to oven, and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until set and top is golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
4. Home Fries
When people go out for breakfast at a diner, they often order an omelet or scrambled eggs just as a way to get a massive pile of home fries. If you cook the spuds yourself, you don’t even have to pretend you want the accompanying food. Cooking Light’s recipe is particularly great because it speeds up the process time by par-cooking the potatoes in the microwave. This recipe serves 6, so scale up if you’re expecting a crowd.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes, cubed
- 2½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions: Arrange potatoes in a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Uncover potatoes, and let cool slightly.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1½ tablespoons oil, and swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove onion mixture from pan, and wipe pan clean.
Increase heat to medium high. Add remaining oil and butter to the pan, and swirl to coat. Add potatoes, and cook for 4 minutes, without stirring. Turn potatoes, and cook 6 minutes longer, without stirring. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in onion mixture, salt, and pepper. Garnish with parsley, and serve.
5. Spinach, Onion, and Bacon Frittata
If you want to serve eggs for a big group of people, it’s hard to beat a frittata. These egg dishes are great hot or room temperature, so you don’t have to worry about making any fussy accommodations for late arrivals. Try this one loaded with bacon, spinach, and onions from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. For even more flavor, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over the top before transferring it to the oven.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry
- Salt and pepper
- 8 large eggs
- ½ cup crumbled, cooked bacon
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs and bacon to pan, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook, undisturbed, until edges are set, about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven, and bake until top is just set, 10 to 13 minutes. Invert frittata, or slide onto a plate. Cut into six wedges, and serve.
6. Baked Blintzes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce
Making blintzes is usually quite an undertaking since you have to fill and roll each one separately. To make things easier on yourself, try Ina Garten’s baked blintzes, featured on Food Network. You just spread the filling over some par-baked batter, pour the remaining batter over the top, then let it finish in the oven.
The blueberry sauce is delicious and pretty easy to make. You can even cook it a day ahead of time, then rewarm it over low heat on the stove. For an even easier topping, just toss the berries with some sugar and lemon juice, mash slightly with a fork, and let the mixture macerate for about 10 minutes.
- 1¼ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 extra-large eggs
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 half-pints fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Combine all batter ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared baking dish, and bake until set, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk cheeses, 2 eggs, and ⅓ cup sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix to combine. Spread cheese mixture over the par-baked pancake. Carefully pour remaining batter over top, making sure to fully cover the cheese. Return pan to the oven, and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is lightly golden and filling nearly set. Remove from oven, and allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine orange juice, ⅔ cup sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When mixture is translucent and thickened, stir in the blueberries and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until a few berries begin to burst. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of lemon zest and lemon juice.
Cut blintzes into squares, and serve with sauce.
7. Chorizo and Scrambled Egg Breakfast Tacos
Simple recipes can sometimes be the most delicious. This is absolutely the case with Epicurious’s chorizo and egg tacos. You only need eight ingredients to pull off this flavor-packed recipe thanks to the spicy sausage. When you’re buying chorizo, be sure to get the fresh, Mexican kind.
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1 cup grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 7 ounces fresh chorizo, removed from casings
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce or salsa
Directions: Brush a large nonstick skillet with olive oil or vegetable oil. Char tortillas over a gas flame or electric burner until blackened in spots, turning with tongs. Arrange tortillas in a single layer in skillet, and top each with ¼ cup cheese. Set aside.
Whisk eggs and 2 tablespoons cilantro in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cook chorizo in a heavy, medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up with a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add green onions, and cook 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, and stir until softly set, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Cook tortillas in a skillet over high heat until beginning to crisp on the bottom, but still pliable, about 1 minute. Divide egg mixture among tortillas, and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Fold tortillas in half, and serve with sour cream and hot sauce.