Ask A Chef: Top Breakfast Casserole Recipes

October 29, 2014 7:00 AM

(Credit: FreeImages.com)

In Turkey, breakfast is a big deal — especially on weekends. Families linger over their plates for hours on weekend mornings, enjoying a leisurely time of food and family. Chef Mehmet Aboussie, owner of Aya Sofia Restaurant on Chippewa, brings the spirit of his native Turkey to weekend brunches in St. Louis. Turkish breakfast usually includes egg dishes, sliced cheese, olives and warm bread. Raw vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers are served at breakfast, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper or herbs. Pancakes and crepes are also very popular. 

Brunch at Aya Sofia combines universal treats with dishes from Aboussie’s Turkish homeland, bringing familiar and exotic flavors to the table. We asked Mehmet for some breakfast casseroles that are easy to recreate at home, and he shared these favorites. Menemen, a popular Turkish dish that combines scrambled eggs with ground beef in a base of sautéed tomatoes, onions and red bell peppers, is a mainstay of the Aya Sofia menu. The Fritatta and Potato Spinach Casserole make special appearances on Aya Sofia’s brunch menu.

Chef Mehmet Aboussie
Aya Sofia Restaurant
6647 Chippewa
St. Loius, MO 63109
(314) 645-9919
www.ayasofiacuisine.com
Tomato and Egg Frittata

  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 C grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4-5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 T fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425º F. Sauté onions and tomatoes in olive oil in an ovenproof, non-stick skillet (8–10 inches). Add salt and simmer 4-5 minutes over low-medium heat. Add eggs and cheese, and stir in basil leaves. Simmer without stirring for about two minutes, until the edges seem set. Put the entire skillet in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes, or until the top is set. Slide or turn the frittata onto a warm plate. Serve warm by cutting into wedges. 

Related: Top Gelato In St. Louis

Potato Spinach Casserole (Patates ve Ispanakli Kaserol)

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C fresh/frozen spinach
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 C milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 C Swiss, cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded

Puree boiled potatoes in a wide bowl with a hand mixer or stick blender. Stir in the egg, milk, salt, pepper and butter. Spoon into a baking dish. Sauté onion in olive oil until tender; stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add spinach and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Spread the spinach mixture over the potato puree. Sprinkle cheese on top evenly. Bake at 400º F for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve warm.

Menemen (for two people)

  • 1/2 lb of extra lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

In a medium skillet, cook the onion, garlic and bell pepper in the olive oil over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes, stirring often. Add the ground beef and cook thoroughly. Do not drain. Stir in the tomatoes, black pepper and salt. Cover and and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs and stir. Cook for a few more minutes.

Related:
 Top Sandwiches In St. Louis

Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at Lauren@LaurenHaas.com

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