The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, was my first thought. Also, if you ever get a chance to visit The Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.... .you totally should. We stopped when The Mercantile just opened on one of our many drives to Texas. We didn't get to eat at the restaurant but we did get to meet Ree and get treats and coffee from the coffee shop upstairs. I know they now have a new hotel and even have Lodge Tours of the Lodge on their property.
Back to the recipe... her Tator Tot Breakfast Casserole is amazing... like all of her recipes. I love that I can make it the night before. I did read a lot of the reviews and some recommended baking the tator tots first to get them crispy. I did bake them for about ten minutes or so... not sure if it made any difference. It was great!
Tator Tot Breakfast Casserole (adapted from The Pioneer Woman and The Food Network)
16 oz bag frozen Tater Tots
butter, for the baking dish
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb spicy bulk breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, finely diced ( I used less)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used less)
4 large eggs ( I used six)
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Line up the tater tots in a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat and set aside to cool. Sprinkle over the tator tots when cooled.
In a large bowl, mix the milk, half and half, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, eggs, diced bell peppers and half of both cheeses. Mix well and pour the mixture over the tots and sausage mixture. Top with the rest of the two cheeses. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night.
Preheat the oven to 350. Bake, covered for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the cheese is brown and bubbly and the casserole is cooked through - probably about another 20 - 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.