Ham and Cheese Brunch Casserole
INGREDIENTS:
10 slices of white bread, cubed (freeze ahead to cut easily)
½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
2 cups cooked, diced ham (can be purchased pre-diced)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz. package)
4 whole eggs
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
Optional:  2 cups broccoli, chopped (use fresh broccoli or frozen that has been thawed and drained well with paper towel)

DIRECTIONS:
  • Grease the bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch baking pan with shortening.
  • Cube the 10 slices of bread (about 16-24 cubes per slice).
  • Melt the stick of butter in a microwave safe container, and toss all of the bread cubes in the butter to coat each piece.
  • Grate an 8 oz. block of cheddar (or use cheese that is already grated).
  • Dice the ham into pieces no larger than ½ inch square (or use pre-diced ham).
  • Beat the eggs and ½ t. salt in a bowl until whites and yolks are well blended.
  • Combine the 2 cups of milk with the egg mixture and blend them together.
  • Layer these ingredients in the greased pan in this order: ½ of the buttered bread cubes, ½ of the cheese, all of the ham, ½ of the cheese, last ½ of the bread cubes (Note:  If using chopped broccoli, add this layer after the ham layer)
  • Pour the milk/egg mixture over the casserole.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden, and cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Godmother Note:  You can make this dish 2 or 3 days in advance.  Simply wait until the night before serving to pour the egg/milk mixture.  Another option is to bake this dish in advance, refrigerate, and dine the next day.  It’s still delicious! 
I probably make this recipe more than any other for my family.  It never fails to please!