Mom’s Breakfast Pie ♯

My brother Bill must have mailed me this one, for I found it in the recipe file (acutally pile) on my desktop in the form of a scanned-in 3”×5” card in my Mother’s handwriting. I was reminded, as I looked at it, that people of that generation, especially women, took great pride in penmanship, as it was the primary means of telecommunication. It brought to mind that, as the generations have passed and as technology has become more available, fewer people take occasion to actually write something down by hand. Typewriters, once the staple of offices, spread into homes. Then came computers with keyboards and word processors. Concurrently, phones were spreading into homes. And now, with smart phones and laptops, direct voice recognition supplants the need to type in anything except the gibberish used in texting. But, ah, I digress.

Mother didn’t entertain very much, so I reasoned that this recipe, which serves ten to twelve, must have been intended for an event such as a church breakfast or for when a number of the family were visiting all at once. As was most of her fare, this recipe is not fancy and not difficult nor tricky to prepare. It is a straightforward, simply delicious way to start the day.

  • 12 oz bacon or sausage
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pint cottage cheese
  • 1 lb shredded Jack cheese
  • 7 ½ cups frozen hash browns
  • 3 chopped scallions

Cook the bacon or sausage, place on paper toweling to remove excess fat, and chop into bite sized pieces.

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Pour into well buttered 9”×13” pan and bake at 350° F for 35 minutes, or until firm (more like 60 minutes, she noted).

This dish freezes well; simply thaw it thoroughly in the refrigerator before cooking.

Serves 10–12.


The breakfast dish described here is made like a quesadilla, but adds meat, chile, and eggs. It is sort of a flat, fat version of a huevos rancheros preparation with ham.

I had at one time called this huevadilla, because huevos is Spanish for eggs, and the term should then have meant “little eggy thing,” I reasoned. But then I learned that this word is slang for one who is given to debauchery and drugs. I certainly didn’t want any of my Spanish-speaking guests snickering when I served them this dish, so I changed the name. Yes, it is an awkward mixture of two languages, but it is distinctive.

  • ½ cup egg substitute (X)
  • 1 can mild green chile
  • ½ cup cheddar, Monterey jack, or Manchego cheese
  • pinch ground cayenne chile
  • <salt>
  • pepper
  • 2 large lower G. I. tortillas
  • thinly sliced turkey ham

In a small bowl, combine X, chile, cheese, cayenne, <salt>, and pepper. Stir to mix into a uniform consistency.

Wet the tortillas to make them pliant. Grease a pie plate well and line it with one of the tortillas, to form a sort of pie shell. Lay down a layer, or two, if thin, of the turkey ham slices. Pour the egg mixture on top and spread it uniformly over the tortilla. Place the remaining tortilla on top, pressing the sides over the edges of the pie plate.

Bake in a 350F oven until the eggs have set and pass the toothpick test, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Cut in quarters and put two pieces on each plate, slightly overlapped, for a visual effect. Garnish with a little parsley and serve.

Makes 2 portions.