Pre-making eggs & home fries
Good morning all,
I volunteer for an organization that does a monthly free community meal, and this month we are having breakfast for dinner.
Our volunteer core usually hangs around after church on Sundays to do any prep work for the Tuesday meal. Our meal will include home fries of some sort and egg/sausage casserole of some sort.
I have found some good recipes for these, but I'm wondering if anyone thinks we'll be able to make either dish in it's entirety and either cook it or reheat it 2 days later. In other words, could we make the egg cassarole on Sunday and simply not cook it until Tuesday? Or should we cook it and re-heat? Will the home fries re-heat pretty well?
Any thought would be greatly appreciated!
I think you could prepare a strata casserole without baking until Tuesday, as long as you use a firm bread so that it won't completely disintegrate with prolonged soaking. Perhaps you should reserve a third of the liquid egg mixture (or only make 2/3 on Sunday and the rest Tuesday), soaking the bread and other filling ingredients in 2/3 of the liquid, which will keep it on the dry side, then adding the remaining egg mixture shortly before baking.
As for the potatoes, I'd suggest mixing chopped onion and potato chunks with seasonings and oil, then roasting on sheet pans, 375-400 degrees till well-browned, turning the pieces over after 30 minutes. Then cool and chill. On Tuesday, return them to the pan and reheat in the oven. The exteriors won't be as crispy as freshly made, but will have a better texture than if cooked and reheated on the stove. Microwave reheating will make them soggy.
As a Personal Chef, I would COOK the strata and freeze it. I just don't like the idea of uncooked eggs sitting in the fridge gathering odors and flavors you don't necessarily want. Remember too you're storing this uncooked dish in a 'public' church fridge where any John or Jane Doe could take it out and accidentally leave it out and it could go very bad without anybody noticing it. Saute the sausage separately, layer it with whatever (I like cooked tater tots or shredded hash browns with onions, bell peppers and cheddar cheese). Then give the casserole adequate time to thaw before reheating on Tuesday.
Greygarious has detailed the best way to handle the potatoes if you just *have* to do them on Synday. My preference would be to do them freze on Cooking Day.