January 27, 2013

Week 61, Recipe 2: Hash brown-Crust Quiche with Ham & Cheese

  • I love hash brown crusts. Make two of these while you at it! It's so easy to shred your own potatoes for the hash browns. You will need about 3 medium potatoes for each crust. The trick to hash browns either in a quiche crust or just fried up in a saucepan is to squeeze the excess moisture from the shredded potatoes before cooking so they'll crisp up nicely. Otherwise they are too wet and will never cook up properly. I use a porous dish cloth but you could also try some sturdy paper towels. I place a large chunk in the center of my cloth then squeeze and ring the water out of the potatoes. It will surprise you how much liquid comes out!
  • Experiment with this recipe! Try substituting sausage for the ham and adding green chilies, or go vegetarian and do mushrooms and green onions. You can mix anything for the filling - just keep the egg, cheese, and milk. You may have to use one less egg or one more, depending on how chunky your filling ingredients are.
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and shredded then squeezed of excess liquid (feel free to use frozen, partially thawed hash browns instead - probably 1 package would do for one pie crust)
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 c. cooked diced ham (or cooked crumbled sausage or leave meat out all together)
  • 1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. half-and-half or whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and prepare hash brown crust as directed in the first ingredient list above.
  2. Melt butter and toss with the shredded (and squeezed dry) hash browns along with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  3. Press this mixture into the sides of an ungreased pie plate (glass is preferable).
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until potatoes start to brown a little.
  5. While the crust is baking, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half/milk. Add 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. This is optional but I think you'll get a better flavor - saute ham in a little oil until hot and starting the brown a bit (add some chopped onions if desired). Remove from heat and set aside. Decrease oven temp to 400.
  6. Remove crust from oven and arrange all but a small bit of the cheese on the bottom. Place the ham on top then pour the eggs/milk over the ham, topping with the last bit of cheese.
  7. Return pan to oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the egg has set and it is puffy and lightly browned on top. You may need to cover the top during cooking if the edge of the crust starts to brown too quickly. Uncover for at least the last 5 minutes. If desired, place under the broiler for the last few minutes to brown the top a bit (be careful not to burn!).

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