Egg and Provolone Breakfast Casserole
12 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped shallots or onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 1-inch slices French bread
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup shredded provolone or Swiss cheese (4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
The day before:
In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Add shallots and garlic to the reserved drippings. Cook and stir until garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, grease a 10-inch ovengoing skillet or 2-quart square baking dish; set aside. Spread one side of the bread slices with butter. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Place half of the bread cubes in the prepared skillet. Sprinkle with half of the bacon. Top with the remaining bread cubes and the remaining bacon. Spoon shallot mixture over layers in skillet; sprinkle with cheese (skillet will be full).
In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually pour egg mixture over layers in skillet; cover and chill overnight.
The day when you serve it:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake casserole, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is set (170 degrees F).
Immediately cut casserole into wedges or squares. Serve within 2 hours after removing casserole from oven.