Well, it’s been several weeks now, and our Little Red Hens haven’t slowed down for even one day. So now we have EGGS! EGGS! EGGS!! Yes, we were warned. Everyone said, “what will you do with four eggs a day?” And even though I knew we’d have to be using eggs a lot, I have still allowed three dozen eggs to accumulate in the refrigerator. So, everyone can go ahead and say it: you told us so.
One of the problems I’ve had is a mental block against using the pullet eggs. I mean, most recipes call for large eggs, right? So what am I supposed to do with these teeny tiny ones besides scramble them? Well yesterday I finally realized that the mental block was just silly. The solution is right there on the carton of Egg Beaters at the store: 1 large egg is equivalent to ¼ cup of liquid. So for any recipe where you would want to use say three eggs (like quiche custard), I just keep adding pullet eggs until I’ve reached ¾ cup of eggs (in this case 5 pullet eggs). Duh.
So once I figured that out, I’ve been able to return to normal egg use. This recipe is essentially one of those made up deals, but it is based on the Quiche Formula from Mollie Katzen’s classic cookbook “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.” The hash brown crust is also loosely based on her Golden Vegetable Crust, and also on the great tips for making homemade hash browns that I found a few months ago over at Serious Eats.
Pile all the potato gratings into a screen-type colander or strainer and rinse thoroughly. You are technically supposed to rinse until the water runs clear, but who can tell? Just do the best you can. It will be good enough.
As an aside, if you should happen to want to make these into regular hash browns that you cook in a skillet, you should follow all of those previous steps, and then add a few tablespoons of milk before frying to help hold the potatoes together. If you are making this into a crust, though, the milk isn’t necessary.
I ended up using about ¼ cup each of onions and peppers, but you should use whatever you think would be good.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 as soon as you take the crust out.
Right away, add the cheese onto the top of the cooked crust. This will form a little bit of a barrier that will keep the crust crispier. Again, you can use any type of cheese that you like. I used Swiss because it was on sale.
Now is a good time to add salt and pepper as well.
Add the rest of your ingredients. I know it’s tempting to go a little crazy here and add practically everything you can think of. I try not to add more than what will fill up the pie plate about halfway, which is a lot less than you think.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. When the quiche is cooked, a knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Once you’ve taken the quiche out, make sure to let it sit for at least 10 minutes or so to set up.
Whenever we have quiche, I like to pretend we are at an actual brunch. So I serve it with brunchy-like things. Like toast and honey, or muffins, or fresh fruit, and of course, tea. I then drink that tea with my pinky up, while discussing the delicacy of the custard. OK, I don’t. But you definitely should if you want to. Quiche is upscale, so go for it!
- Hash Brown Crust
- 3 medium potatoes, grated (about 2 cups, packed)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup cheese, any flavor, grated
- 1 cup (approximately) mixed vegetables and/or meats of choice
- 3 large eggs, about ¾ cup liquid eggs (for straight-sided quiche pan use 4 eggs)
- 1 cup milk (use about 1½ cups for straight sided quiche pan)
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Paprika for sprinkling over top, if desired!
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and peel potatoes, then grate on largest opening of box grater.
- Transfer grated potatoes to a screen-type strainer or colander and rinse thoroughly.
- One handful at a time, transfer rinsed potatoes to cheesecloth or several layers of paper towels and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Transfer potatoes to a microwave-safe plate that has been lined with several paper plates or multiple layers of paper towels. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes.
- Brush a pie plate with cooking oil or spray with cooking spray. Press hash browns into the bottom and up the sides of the plate to form a crust. Drizzle with melted butter.
- Bake crust 25 minutes until partially cooked and lightly browned.
- While crust is baking, prepare other ingredients. Cook any raw meat and sauté vegetables like onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
- When crust has finished cooking, remove from oven and add cheese immediately. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Add desired vegetables and meats to pie plate on top of cheese. Whisk eggs and add milk. Pour milk/egg mixture over assembled ingredients. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to rest for at least ten minutes to firm up.