07 November 2010

Recipe: Hash Brown Quiche

I found this recipe in one of the Kroger coupon flyers that shows up in our mailbox every so often.  Problem is, I almost never follow a recipe exactly.  I might add a little extra of the ingredients we fancy or replace an objectionable ingredient with one we prefer.  As a result, the recipe' originality is only somewhat recognizable, but the quality of the dish is always to our liking.  So while I am sharing a recipe with you that I highly recommend you try, please be aware it's a loose adaptation on the original.

To make this pan of Southern loveliness, I have created a table of the ingredients I used alongside the ingredients Kroger called for:

My Way
Kroger’s Way
1 bag of frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed (when you’re a potato fan like me, you always want more)
3 cups of frozen hash browns, thawed
olive oil for drizzling
1/3 cup butter, melted
8 oz. package of already finely cubed ham
1 cup cooked ham, chopped
enough shredded Colby-Jack cheese to cover all ingredients in the quiche before placing in oven (it's lower in fat than Cheddar)
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
as much red, yellow, or orange bell pepper you like, chopped
1/2 cup red or green bell pepper
half of an onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (optional)
*Onion is never optional in my book.  Adding it gives a dish such wonderful flavor!
sprinkling of crushed cayenne pepper
1 jalapeno chili, finely chopped
4 eggs (since I used more potatoes, I knew I would need more eggs)
2 eggs
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup milk
Kosher salt to taste (better for your ticker than iodized salt)
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black, white, and red peppercorns to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Mmmmm…they already look good and they're not even in the pan yet!  Notice the only ingredients needed knife action were the pepper and the onion.  The cheese and ham were already cut to perfection.  Now that you have your ingredients set out, here are the culinary actions you will take:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Drain any excess moisture out of your thawed potatoes.  Use cooking spray to lightly coat the inside of a baking dish to prevent your spuds from sticking to it.  Press the shreds into the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Here is how mine looked before being baked for 35 minutes:

35 minutes is a long time to wait, I know.  The hash browns are browning during their sentence in the baking box so that your quiche will have a crisp, non-traditinal crust for this dish.  Here are some ideas of how to pass the time while the potato magic happens:

  • Clean the kitchen (who'd have thought?).
  • Do angled push-ups against the kitchen counter.  It buffs the arms and chest for that intense turkey-carving you'll be doing at the end of the month.
  • Do a set of squats…while holding your 30-lb. dog.  Even though your dog may not thank you, your butt and thighs will.
  • Swat the dog away from the open dishwasher.
  • Complete a crossword puzzle.
  • Create next week's grocery list.
  • Bathe the kids (if you have any).
  • Take the trash and recycling to the curb.
OK, at the end of the 35 minutes, I noticed my 'taters weren't as brown as I wanted them to be.  So I cranked up the broiler and gave them a final zap for about 7 minutes.  They came out looking like this:

Now for the rest of the ingredients.  Mix the ham, pepper, and onion in a bowl and then layer on top of the hash brown crust.  Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne in the same bowl and pour over the prepared layers.  For a final touch, sprinkle cheese over everything.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a knife comes out clean from the center of the dish.

Hmmm, another 30 minutes of baking?  Seems like an awful long time, but now your kitchen is clean and so are the kids.  I come prepared with more time-passing ideas…
  • Set the table.  Maybe light a candle or put on some tunes.
  • Feed the dog.
  • Start a load of laundry.
  • Call your best friend.  Make a lunch date.
  • Contemplate life's deepest questions, like "Why is it that I can buy 15% alcohol by volume cooking vermouth on Sundays, but not beer at 5%?"
The oven timer dings.  You grab your potholders and open the oven door.  Delicious golden goodness awaits your retrieval.  Set the dish on your stove and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.  Makes great leftovers.  Here's how the final product will appeal to your eyes and stomach all at once:

This served Michael and myself for 2 dinners, plus 2 lunches for me.  It may take a while to make, but most of the "making" part is the dish being in the oven.  The "prep" part doesn't take much time at all.  Give it a shot--for any meal--and let me know how you like it.  Enjoy!

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