Leftover Croissants…? Yes, this could happen!
In fact, it has been happening to me a lot lately, as I’ve working on developing three different versions (1-day, 2-day and 3-day) of my Classic French Croissant recipes. So I have been left with dozens of croissants on the counter, and even though I am very much fond of them, going through 36 in a day became a bit too much. And you’ll probably agree that days-old croissants simply do not have the same oomph as freshly baked ones.
So I have been thinking of ways to use up my leftovers croissants, and making a savory croissant casserole is the first thing that came to my mind. I wanted a comforting dish to cut through the bitter Winter evenings. I imagined the textures and flavours I wanted, and worked backwards from there…
A great Winter dinner or crowd-pleasing brunch
The croissants paired with mushrooms provides the perfect mix of sweet and salty flavors. The bittery spinach cut nicely through the richness of the croissants. The tender baked eggs and cheese perfectly compliment the crisp edges of the croissants.
With leftover croissants on hand, it is a quick and easy dish to put together (less than 15 minutes), and makes for a great Winter dinner or crowd-pleasing brunch.
- Using fresh spinach is best for this dish (they render less water); but if you have to use frozen spinach, make sure your thaw and drain them very well, and cook them all the way through until no moisture is left in the pan.
- Gruyère cheese is great in this dish, but feel free to use any hard cheese of your liking. 1 cup (100g) is a fair amount of cheese – just enough to bring comfort and flavour, but not overkill (remember croissants are already rich to start with). Feel free to use more/less cheese, to suit your taste.
6 Classic French Croissants
2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter + extra to grease the dish
1 bag [227g/8oz] fresh spinach
4 2/3 cup (350g) Cremini muchrooms, fresh, sliced
1 cup (100g) Gruyère Cheese, grated.
6 large eggs
2 cups (500ml) whole milk
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Step 1 – Over medium-low heat, in a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon (15g) of butter. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are soft and tender. Set aside.
Add an other tablespoon (15g) of butter to the pan with the fresh spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is cooked.
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F (180°C)
Step 2 – Butter a 10.5x7 inch (26.7x17.8cm) dish. Slice the croissants in half vertically and split each half partially horizontally (do not cut them all the way through). Place the croissants halves vertically (sliced side up) in rows in the dish, nice and tight. Stuff the spinach equally into each croissant half and do the same with the mushrooms (you can stuff some mushrooms in-between the croissants too).
Step 3 – In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and half of the grated cheese (1/2 cup/50g). Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the croissants. Finally, sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese (1/2 cup/50g) evenly over the top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an extra 10-15 minutes, until the egg mixture is set and golden and the grated cheese is all melted and crisp on the edges. Serve immediately.