One of my earliest posts was about having an elegant and delicious go-to recipe that would wow your guests without stressing you out. I also believe that this applies to brunch – having a couple of recipes up your sleeve to make your guests feel honoured and that you can do bleary-eyed. I love brunch for so many reasons – the food, the drinks (we do hard liquor and bubbly and coffee/tea), the lively conversations, and being able to relax without the bustle of waiting for a table/coffee refills/ketchup etc.
Normally a quiche has a pastry crust that’s both gluten and fat filled. You could always go crustless but for me, the crust is the best part so I thought I’d swap pastry for a potato. This recipe is adapted from one I found online here and the potato is actually way less fattening than traditional pastry but no less satisfying. It’s basically hash browns and eggs all in one dish – the perfect brunch combo, like juice and champagne.
I also use soy milk instead of cream which helps cut a few calories and great for lactose intolerant folks. I find if the fillings are tasty enough, dairy eaters don’t notice. To prep the potatoes, I recommend a food processor to grate the potatoes and wringing them in a clean kitchen towel. Just lay the towel on a surface, dump the shredded potatoes in the middle, gather the four corners of the cloth and lift up. You have a sac like situation and you just twist the bottom of the sac while holding to the for corners until you’re squeezing the liquid out of the potatoes.
I’ve made various versions of this recipe and served it both at brunch and dinner. When making this for smaller groups (I.e. four or less), I use a long tart pan. But I find the best way to feed a crowd is to use muffin tins – you can do a variety of fillings and these are the perfect size to sample a few. I did a mushroom and spinach version as well as a broccoli and cheddar. I’ve also done caramelized onion and goat cheese in the past which is uber yum but more dinner time for some reason. It’s great to be creative and experiment with different fillings – I’m always inspired by restaurant brunch menus and my next batch of quiche will be chorizo and goat cheese like the omelet at The School in Liberty Village.
Recipe Potato Crusted Quiche (Makes 12 individual muffin sized portions)
Adapted from Food Network’s Cook Yourself Thin
***Double the crust and egg mixture quantities if doing both fillings***
- 2 to 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, shredded
- 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
- pinch salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk or cream ( I use plain soy)
- pinch salt and pepper
- Spray oil or canola oil for greasing pan
Mushroom and Spinach Filling:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, finely sliced
- 1 cup baby spinach, washed and dried
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella (I use goat cheese)
Broccoli and Cheddar Filling:
- 3/4 cup broccoli florets, cut into tiny pieces (no stems)
- 1/2 cup medium to strong cheddar (I use goat cheese)
Special Equipment: 12 cup muffin pan (one pan if making one variety, 2 pans if making both varieties)
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat muffin tins with spray oil or grease the pans. Place potatoes in the middle of a clean dish towel and gather the corners of the cloth together. Wring the excess liquid from the potatoes in the towel. In a medium mixing bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil and salt. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the potato and press into the muffin tin to create a crust. Make sure to evenly cover the bottom and have the edges going up over the sides (it’s ok to go a bit higher the side because the potatoes shrink a bit). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown and dry. Let cool and lower oven heat to 350 degrees.
2. For mushroom and spinach filling: In a skillet, add oil on medium heat. Add onions until they start to sweat, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, let cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until mixture is dry, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Let cool slightly.
3. Aseemble the quiche. For mushroom and spinach quiche, add about 1 teaspoon of the filling and 1 teaspoon into each potato shell. For broccoli and cheddar, add 1 teaspoon of broccoli and 1 teaspoon of cheddar into each potato shell. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper until light and fluffy. Carefully pour egg mixture over filling. If making both varieties, double the egg mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm around the edges, but still wobbly in the middle. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.