Recipe Friday: Z’Tejas Southwestern Breakfast Bake

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Recipes Issue: January 2017

Courtesy Z'TejasIf you’ve been searching for a brunch dish to “wow” your guests, Z’Tejas Executive Chef James Blanton offers up a recipe that fits the bill. His Southwestern breakfast bake is based on a classic bread pudding, but on the savory side, Blanton says. For the home cook, the recipe is ideal because you can add or delete whichever ingredients you like or don’t like, he says. “It really becomes a vehicle for you to be creative.” That only applies to the bread, meats and vegetables, however. The custard needs to be made as written (with the proper egg and heavy cream ratio) in order to thicken properly.

Chef’s tip: Let the mixture set overnight so the custard has time to soak through the bread.

You can also find this dish on the Z’Tejas brunch menu at ztejas.com.

Z’Tejas Southwestern breakfast bake
Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients:
6-8 cups French bread, cubed
1 lb. sausage links, sliced
8 oz. hickory bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ red onion, diced
½ cup roasted red pepper, diced
½ cup Portobello mushroom, diced
½ cup green chilies, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Custard
1 quart heavy cream
8 eggs
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white pepper

Preparation:
In large bowl whisk together heavy cream, eggs, salt and pepper. Whisk until eggs are evenly incorporated. Set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cube bread and place on a sheet pan and toast till golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Heat a medium sauté pan and add the sliced sausage and bacon. Cook about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove sausage and bacon from the pan and set aside. Wipe the pan clean of any small bits. Return pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, red onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms and green chilies. When the onion and mushrooms are just softened (5-6 minutes), remove from the heat. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan, add the bread, then top with the bacon, sausage and veggie mixture. Add half the custard and gently toss until the ingredients are incorporated. Top with the goat cheese, green onions and the remaining custard and fold in gently. Spray one side of a piece of parchment paper and fold to fit over the inner diameter of the pan and lightly push down. Once the custard is dispersed, cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours in a water bath (put your baking dish on a sheet pan filled with water) until mixture is firm. The water bath helps the egg mixture bake evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice into squares and serve topped with green chili and roasted red pepper sauces.

Green chili sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
32 oz. can roasted green chilies, well drained and chopped
2 cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper
4 oz. white wine to deglaze green chilies and garlic

Preparation:
Heat a medium saucepan to medium high. Add olive oil, garlic and chopped green chilies. Sauté until garlic is translucent and the chilies are slightly toasted, 3-5 minutes. Then add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Add chicken stock, heavy cream salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce by one third. Remove sauce from the stove and let it cool for 20 minutes. Place the sauce in a blender and puree until smooth. Be very careful because hot liquid expands. Pulse, carefully. Once the sauce is pureed, remove it from the blender, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Red pepper sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
32 oz. can roasted red peppers, well drained and chopped
2 cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper
4 oz. white wine to deglaze roasted peppers and garlic

Preparation:
Heat a medium saucepan to medium high. Add olive oil, garlic and chopped green chilies. Sauté until garlic is translucent and the chilies are slightly toasted, 3-5 minutes. Then add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Add chicken stock, heavy cream salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce by one third. Remove sauce from the stove and let it cool for 20 minutes. Place the sauce in a blender and puree until smooth. Be very careful because hot liquid expands. Pulse, carefully. Once the sauce is pureed, remove it from the blender, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.