Monday, June 29, 2015

Breakfast Stuffed Shells

I feel like I have to apologize for my absence. Sometimes I just feel like I can't get my feet under me. Then I have a wonderful day like today...both kids with me all day, had my annual physical (which had the girls waiting an hour and a half total), lunch at a restaurant (at their request), hair cuts for both of them (I had them cut 6 inches off the littlest's hair and worried that the hubby wouldn't let me back in the house), a shopping trip to Wegmans (where the biggest asked me to make stuffed shells, who am I to argue), then back home to do some batch cooking. And we all had a great time!  Ooh, and in the middle of cooking, the littlest decided that she wanted to swim with just the kick board and no life jacket, so I jumped in the pool with her and she took off.  Just two weeks ago she wouldn't let go of the ladder!  When I get done here, I'll be looking for some swim lessons and a swim team for her--she's a natural.

Knowing that I need to stock up the freezer for my mom, who is having shoulder surgery in a few weeks (if anyone has any ideas on good foods to freeze that can be heated and eaten one handed...please let me know), I cooked the whole box of shells. I made some traditional stuffed shells. Then ran out of ricotta cheese. So I had these left.

I didn't want to throw them out, but I couldn't find inspiration in my kitchen, so I turned to Pinterest.  Know what's not on Pinterest? Breakfast stuffed shells. There should be breakfast stuffed shells on Pinterest. Ahem. Somebody needs to pin this recipe. Had to send the hubby to the store for cream cheese, but I had the bacon, mushrooms, peppers (from my first garden ever!) eggs and cheese in the fridge. I'm sure anything you'd eat in an omelette will work.  Our friends make "crack dip" with breakfast sausage and cream cheese, that would be delicious.

Chop up your veggies and have them on-deck while you cook the bacon.  

Pull the bacon out of the pan and cook your veggies in the bacon grease.

After the veggies are softened, throw a brick of cream cheese in the pan and stir until everything is melty goodness. Then stir in the cooked bacon and pour into a bowl and set aside. 

In the same pan, soft-scramble some eggs. Then mix the cream cheese goop back in to the pan and lightly mix with the eggs.

Stuff into the already cooked shells.

Oops, no pictures, but make some cheese sauce while the bacon and veg are cooking. Pour the cheese sauce over the shells and bake at 350 til bubbly, about 20 minutes.

This is a great brunch dish, but it is a bit rich and needs something acidic. We ate it with a spoon, standing in front of the stove. If I was serving it to someone, I'd top it with something tomato-y (like a tomato and roasted red pepper sauce) or on the side of an arugula or frisee salad with a really lemony vinaigrette. 

Breakfast Stuffed Shells
For the shells:
12-16 jumbo shells, cooked according to package directions
8 oz bacon, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
8 oz cream cheese
Olive oil to coat pan
6 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and hot sauce to taste

For the cheese sauce:
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp ground mustard
hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 350. 
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, leaving the grease in the pan.  (Meanwhile, make cheese sauce--directions below) Add veggies to bacon grease and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and the cooked bacon to the skillet and stir until combined. Remove from the pan to a bowl and set aside.  Wipe out skillet and add olive oil.  Over medium heat, cook eggs just until soft-set.  Add cream cheese mixture back to pan and fold into eggs lightly.  Stuff the egg mixture into shells and line up in a 9x9 greased casserole dish.  Pour cheese sauce over shells and bake 20 minutes til bubbly and golden.  Serve with something acidic (like a tomato sauce or a salad with lemony vinaigrette).

Cheese sauce
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 minutes.  Whisk in milk, mustard and hot sauce and add cheese.  Stir frequently until thickened and cheese is melted.  Set aside until you are ready for it.

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