Who on God’s GREEN EARTH doesn’t LOVE Christmas morning?! I for one, am a huge fan and this recipe that I’ve been cranking out for years makes the morning EVEN more enjoyable… customize your own flavors, make a day or two ahead, and heat up (at 300F) just 15 minutes before you want to eat! Ten bucks says this becomes your new tradition.

Just to get your brain juices flowing for this I am going to suggest a few possible ideas for your morning with loved ones… as well as a list of exactly what I used in the version I made this time.

The Italiano
Roasted red bell peppers or sun dried tomatoes
Chopped prosciutto
Finely diced cooked potatoes (quickly sauté in olive oil OR… don’t tell anyone that this info came from me but, you can purchase canned new potatoes and they require no cooking and actually hold up really well in these things)
Chopped fresh chives, rosemary, parsley, or thyme
Top with soft goat cheese

The Feliz Navidad
Chopped serrano ham or cooked chopped chorizo
Chopped green onions
A handful of sweet corn
Chopped tomatoes
Canned green chilies (drained)
A dash or two of smoked paprika
A few dashes of hot sauce
Grated Manchego cheese
Top with salsa, guac, and or sour cream

The Americana
Cubed ham, chopped cooked bacon, and or cooked breakfast sausage
Sautéed bell peppers and onions
Finely diced cooked potatoes (ahem, refer to “Italiano” for a short cut)
Chopped fresh chives
Cheddar cheese
Top with sour cream, greek yogurt, goat cheese, or cream cheese (the world is your oyster!)

Smoked Salmon and Fresno Chili Christmas breakfast bake
You will need:

1 store-bought or homemade pie crust
¼ medium sized onion (thinly sliced)
1 fresno chili (finely chopped)
1 cup packed arugula (chopped)
¼ cup plus 1 Tbs fresh chopped chives (divided)
1 ½ Tbs chopped fresh dill
2-2 1/2 Tbs chopped capers (divided)
4 oz. chopped smoked salmon
6 eggs
1/3 cup half and half or cream
1 block of cream cheese (room temp/softened)
The zest of one lemon
Chopped tomatoes (for garnish)
Lemon wedges (for garnish)

Serves 4-6 (if you’ve got hungry adults estimate 4-5 per pie)

Preheat your oven to 375F. Roll out your pie dough and place in a nine inch pie pan to form your crust, crimping the dough at the top. Place foil or wax paper over your crust and line with pie weights, dried beans, or (in my case) coins?! (Yep works great) and bake until edges begin to crisp a bit, about 20 min. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make your filing.
In a small sauté pan, cook your onions and fresno chili until translucent (about 5-7 min) and set aside to cool.

Combine chopped arugula, 1 Tbs of chopped capers, ¼ cup of chives, chopped dill, cooled veggies, and chopped smoked salmon in a mixing bowl and spread evenly over your cooled pie crust.

Using the same bowl (to avoid more dirty dishes) combine eggs, cream and a little salt and pepper; whisk until smooth and eggs are beaten. Pour over filling.

Bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set. Once done, you can serve immediately, or cover, refrigerate and bake at 300F for about 15 minutes when you want to serve it.

While eggs are baking make your cream cheese topping. Combine cream cheese, remaining 1-1 1/2 Tbs of capers (depending on how much you like em… I happen to LOVE them), remaining 1 Tbs of chives, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Stir until completely incorporated. Reserve to dollop on top of warm slices of your breakfast bake when it comes out of the oven or if you are serving this another day: refrigerate until that day and bring out a little bit ahead of time to soften up a bit.
Slice wedges of breakfast bake and serve with sliced or chopped tomatoes, a dollop of cream cheese, and a lemon wedge to squeeze on top. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!



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