Sausage, Apple and Cheddar Morning Skillet
6 BAYS Original English Muffins, split and halved
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
10 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Beat the eggs, milk, paprika, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl until well blended. Add the muffins and stir gently to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Alternatively, refrigerate the mixture for several hours or up to overnight.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet (such as stainless steel or a well-seasoned cast iron pan) over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into smaller pieces with a spoon, until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon.Melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter in the skillet and add the onion and poultry seasoning. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened slightly, about 4 minutes. Stir in the apples and sauté until they are crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer apple mixture to the bowl with the sausage and mix well. (This step may be done and refrigerated overnight if desired).
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wipe out the skillet and brush it with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Arrange half of the muffin pieces in the bottom of the skillet. Spoon the sausage mixture over the muffins in an even layer then sprinkle with 1 1/4 cups of the cheese. Top with the remaining muffin pieces and pour the remaining egg mixture into the skillet.
Bake until puffy, lightly browned and the eggs are set, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and bake until melted, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
For the Spring substitute 8 ounces of diced cooked ham for the sausage, 12 ounces of steamed or roasted asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces) for the apple and 2 cups shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese for the cheddar.
For the Summer substitute 4 ounces of chopped smoked salmon for the sausage and 2 cups sautéed mixed summer vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and grape tomatoes. Sprinkle the filling with 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese and bake without any additional cheese on top.