B&O American Brasserie sous chef (and native Marylander) Matt Kane spends his days off getting down and dirty in his kitchen with his 4-year old daughter Addison. Together, they cook hearty breakfasts, like this simple but delicious vegetable-heavy Denver omelet casserole.
"This is a great recipe to do with kids because it allows them to get a little messy, have fun and eat well without realizing it," says Kane.
Kane takes a casual approach to cooking with kids, understanding that small hands aren't able to do everything perfectly. While Kane does chops veggies, he lets Addison crack the eggs in a bowl and "fish" the yolks out. "The nice part is that if they break, it's not really a huge deal," he explains.
This recipe also includes canned biscuits; Kane lets Addison open the can, which explodes with a pop – and laughter.
As all parents know, when cooking with kids, laughter is the most important ingredient of all.
Kane Family Denver Omelet Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6 to 8 (or 4 really hungry people)
About 3 Tablespoons cooking oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 pound bulk (uncased) turkey sausage
1 Vidalia onion, diced small
½ cup button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
2 cups raw spinach, chiffonaded
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 dozen whole eggs, whites and yolks separated (you will use all egg whites and two egg yolks; reserve the extra egg yolks for another use)
1 can buttermilk biscuits
1 8-ounce container cottage cheese
6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Coat a medium to large saute plan with 2 tablespoons oil over a medium flame.
3. Once hot, add turkey sausage. Cook until the sausage is cooked evenly and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
4. Drain the sausage and, using a small amount of oil, sweat onion until translucent.
5. Add mushrooms, tomato and spinach and cook until your desired doneness.
6. Return sausage to the pan with the vegetables and add flour. Be sure to keep the pan moving so the flour doesn't stick.
6. Add milk and allow the mixture to slowly come up to a simmer, stirring regularly, until thickened.
7. In a separate nonstick pan, scramble the egg whites with two egg yolks.
8. Now for the fun kid assembly. Have your child open the biscuit tin – that is always a hilarious experience. Carefully split the biscuits, placing the bottoms only in a greased casserole dish.
9. Place the biscuits in the oven and cook for about six minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and using a spoon, have your child spread the scrambled eggs evenly across the biscuits.
11. Spread the cottage cheese evenly across the eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
12. Spoon or ladle your vegetable sausage gravy over the cottage cheese. Spread as evenly as possible. If it's not perfect, that's okay – it will start to move as it cooks.
13. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over sausage, reserving a small amount. Finally, top with the biscuit tops, sprinkle the rest of the cheddar on the raw biscuit tops.
14. Bake in the oven until the biscuits are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
About the Chef
Maryland native Matt Kane has worked in restaurants all over the state, finally landing as the sous chef at B&O American Brasserie (2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, 443-692-6172). During his spare time, he and his almost five-year old daughter, Addison, experiment – and get messy – in the kitchen together.
For more information about B&O American Brasserie, visit www.bandorestaurant.com.
About the Club
To join the Maryland Family Kids' Cooking Club, follow a few simple steps:
1. Make the recipe above with your kids.
As you make the recipe, ask your kids to write about the experience. In a journal or notebook, answer the following questions:
What did you enjoy most about making the recipe?
What did you think of the taste?
What surprised you most while cooking?
What did you learn about cooking while making this recipe?
2. Take a photo of your kids with the finished product, if you like.
3. Visit this website each week during June to find a new recipe by a different local chef. Recipes 3 and 4 will be posted by June 17 and 24.
4. Let us know when you've completed all four recipes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Kids Cooking Club certificate” in the subject line. Once you've completed all four, we'll mail your child a congratulatory certificate.
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