Potato Crusted Quiche

Potato Crusted Quiche

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.

 

shredded potato

 

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.

 

potato crust close up

 

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.

 

quiche filling

 

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.

 

 

caramelized onion goat cheese quiche

Caramelized onion and goat cheese quiche in a rectangular tin - perfect for dinner or lunch with a fresh green salad

Potato Crusted Quiche

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.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Main Course, Snack
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: corn-free, eggs, gluten-free, mushrooms, potato, yeast-free
Author: ness

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • 12 cup muffin pan (one pan if making one variety, 2 pans if making both varieties)

INGREDIENTS

  • ***Double the crust and egg mixture quantities if doing both fillings***

Crust:

  • 2 to 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (shredded)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • pinch salt

Egg Mixture:

  • 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)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Assemble 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.
Adapted from Food Network's Cook Yourself Thin
Spiced Samosa Potato Salad

Spiced Samosa Potato Salad

Samosas are little pastry pockets of potato-y goodness, spiced with Indian flavours, deep-fried, and served with refreshing cilantro chutney.  My samosa-eating days came to a screeching halt when I went gluten-free and my mouth would water with envy as my family and friends devoured them at parties and dinners.  I’m sure I looked pretty pathetic as I sulked.

After going gluten-free, I attempted making samosa spring rolls using Vietnamese rice paper wraps, which turned out to be an epic fail.  I was left with oil everywhere, grease burns, a burnt pot, etc.  But I also had leftover samosa potato filling and chutney dipping sauce which I ended up combining to make a delicious potato salad.  So now whenever I crave samosas, I make this spicy potato salad instead.  It’s not only great for easy cleanup, but it’s also way better for my waistline and arteries.

samosa ingredients

The potato mix is adapted from 500 Chili Recipes, which D found at Borders in the clearance section for $5.  Best $5 score ever.  It’s such a great book with spicy recipes from around the world, pictures for each dish, and clear simple recipes – I definitely recommend this cookbook for anyone who loves exotic spicy eats.  The coriander chutney is adapted from an old issue of Fine Cooking – one of my fave cooking mags.

onion mixture with spices
peas onion mixture

What gives the potatoes a distinctly samosa-y flavour is the combo of onions, ground coriander, ground cumin, and peas. A little saute action to soften the onions and toast up the spices is key.  Easy peas-y.

The coriander chutney is very refreshing – both sweet and tangy at the same time.  Throwing everything into a food processor is all you need to do for this one.  I use leftover chutney on salads.  PS – if you like my blog, you can follow me on twitter or like my facebook group for updates. Thanks for your support.

potato salad close up

 

 

Spiced Samosa Potato Salad

What gives the potatoes a distinctly samosa-y flavour is the combo of onions, ground coriander, ground cumin, and peas. A little saute action to soften the onions and toast up the spices is key. Easy peas-y.
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, mint, potato, sauces & dips, soy-free, spicy, vegetables, yeast-free
Servings: 6 as a side
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Thai bird chilies (stem and seeds removed, finely diced)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped coriander and mint
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Coriander Chutney

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a food processor or mini chopper and puree. Set aside.
  • Boil potatoes in a medium pot. Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add cumin and ground coriander, stir and saute for 3 minutes. Add peas and continue cooking until peas are heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes, and set aside.
  • When potatoes are tender, drain and cut into 1/2" cubes. Place in medium mixing bowl and add onion mixture, chilies, chopped coriander, lemon juice, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Add 1/3 cup of the chutney and 1 tablespoon of oil to the potatoes and stir. Serve room temperature or chilled.
Aloo Chap (Spiced Meat and Potato Cakes)

Aloo Chap (Spiced Meat and Potato Cakes)

Home cooking is a concept that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the last couple of months since my last post back in May.  Since then, I moved from Scottsdale, Arizona back to my hometown of Toronto and in that time, l have lived in 5 hotels, my parents’ house, my inlaws house (AND gone to 5 weddings) before moving into our own loft downtown.  And back in Scottsdale, we were in a temporary furnished rental for 3 months with our things in storage.  So it’s been a long LONG time since I’ve seen a good deal of my stuff.  And with this transient lifestyle, I’ve eaten at so many restaurants out of necessity that home cooking is something I’ve truly been craving.

aloo chap ingredients on board

It’s taken a while for me to get back into the swing of cooking at home.  Time to find new grocery stores, find enough surface area to work on in our open concept kitchen, and find places to store all the stuff we unpacked.  Finally, I feel like I’m there – home.  And ready to get my home-cooking on.  And for me, that means aloo chap – an Indian-Chinese word we use for potato cakes stuffed with spiced ground meat.  It’s one of my family’s specialties.

mashed potato aloo chap
aloo chap meat in potato
aloo chap meat + potato

Aloo is the Hindi word for potato – I thought it was a Chinese word until I was in my 20s.  My first memory of eating aloo chap is going to one of my aunt’s houses a kid, my aunties working away to make a zillion aloo chaps assembly line style, and all of us cousins smothering the little potato rounds in ketchup before stuffing our faces.  My aunts made two kinds – spicy for the grown ups and non-spicy for us kiddies.  I think they must have used entire sacs of potatoes and half a cow to make enough aloo chaps to satisfy our entire family, and to have enough for leftovers to send home with everyone.

prepped aloo chap

Now that I make them at home, I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, and gluten free breadcrumbs.  Also, I pan fry them instead of deep frying for both health and cleanup laziness reasons.  I know my adaptations are A-OK since I made these for my parents and they said they were just as yum as the ones my aunt’s make.  This is a MAJOR compliment since these aunties are awesome cooks renowned for their massive spreads of all sorts of insanely delicious eats at our family functions.  And now that I’m back in TO, I can enjoy this regularly.  So happy to be home.

aloo chap in frying pan

 

Kids bbq

This is some of the cousins at a party sometime in the 80s. I'm absent in this picture... just like I was absent in many pix when I was in AZ. See how sad everyone is??? Except smiley Kim.

Aloo Chap (Spiced Potato Cakes)

Now that I make them at home, I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, and gluten free breadcrumbs. Also, I pan fry them instead of deep frying for both health and cleanup laziness reasons. I know my adaptations are A-OK since I made these for my parents and they said they were just as yum as the ones my aunt's make. This is a MAJOR compliment since these aunties are awesome cooks renowned for their massive spreads of all sorts of insanely delicious eats at our family functions. And now that I'm back in TO, I can enjoy this regularly. So happy to be home.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, lamb, meat, nut-free, potato, soy-free, spicy, yeast-free
Servings: 4
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

  • 5-6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes (peeled)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (plus more for frying)
  • 1 large onion (finely diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger (finely minced)
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder or 1 finely diced chili pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 lb ground turkey (chicken, or lamb)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a medium pot, boil potatoes for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, mash, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat in a wok or frying pan. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, chili/pepper, cilantro and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • Add ground meat and peas and continue cooking until meat is fully cooked and quite dry. Add salt and lemon juice.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes and meat mixture and stir until fully blended. Spoon 1/3 cup of the mixture into your hand and shape into a round patty. Gently roll patty in breadcrumbs until coated and set aside on baking sheet until ready to cook. Repeat until all the potato mixture is used.
  • In a medium frying pan add about 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add a few patties at a time and cook on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Continue until all the patties are done.
  • Serve hot with ketchup. For extra heat, add Tobasco or Mexican style hot sauce to the ketchup.
  • PS - you can also make these smaller and serve them as appetizers.
Lamb Gremolata with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Lamb Gremolata with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Everyone needs that go-to entertaining recipe that will make their guests feel honoured, yet is easy to whip up.  Inlaws dropping in?  Hot date?  Hosting Easter dinner?  Don’t worry, try this lamb recipe and you’ll look like a star without breaking a sweat.  The mint, lemon, and parsley in the gremolata are the perfect flavours for a springtime supper.  Make this, and you’ll be able to entertain with ease.

gremolata ingredients close up

What’s a gremolata?  It’s a fancy word for a garnish made of parsley, lemon, and garlic.  I’ve added some fresh mint to the mixture – mint and lamb go together so nicely.  Throw in some gluten-free bread crumbs and you have a delicious breading for your lamb chops.  I use my trusty mini chopper to do the hard work for me.

ingredients in mini chopper gremolata
Bread in chopper gremolata

When zesting the lemon, make sure to only grate the yellow peel part and not the white part underneath – it’s bitter tasting.  I used day-old gluten-free bread and threw it in the chopper and blended until everything was combined.

gremolata in chopper breading

Cutting a rack of lamb is super easy – just use a large sharp knife and cut along the bone.  One rack feeds 2-3 people, depending on the size of the rack (usually 8 pieces) or how hungry your guests are.

raw rack of lamb on board
slicing lamb rack with knife

Once you have the lamb cut into individual chops, you just firmly press some of the breading into the meat on both sides of the chop.  You can totally do this ahead of time – allowing the meat to chill in the fridge with the breading actually helps the breading stick to the meat.

breaded lamb gremolata in dish

 

Mint Gremolata Lamb Chops (Gluten Free)

Everyone needs that go-to entertaining recipe that will make their guests feel honoured, yet is easy to whip up. Inlaws dropping in? Hot date? Hosting Easter dinner? Don't worry, try this lamb recipe and you'll look like a star without breaking a sweat. The mint, lemon, and parsley in the gremolata are the perfect flavours for a springtime supper. Make this, and you'll be able to entertain with ease.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: dairy-free, gluten-free, lamb, meat, mint, nut-free, potato, soy-free, vegetables
Servings: 2
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

Lamb Chops

  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 slices day old gluten free bread
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 rack of lamb

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (Dairy-Free)

  • 6 - 7 yukon gold potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion (yellow or spanish onion)
  • olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
  • 4 Tbsp soy milk
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives (finely diced)

Minty Peas

  • Frozen peas
  • Vegan butter
  • Finely chopped mint
  • A splash of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Lamb Chops

  • In a mini chopper or food processor, combine the first five ingredients and blend until finely chopped. Break up the day old bread and add to the chopper and blend. Add a pinch of salt and combine. Slice the rack into individual chops by holding onto the bone and cutting along the bone through the meat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Press about 1 teaspoon of the topping into each side of the lamb chop - the breading should be firmly pressed in an even layer. Place in a dish and refrigerate for 1 hour up 4 hours.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add some 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl around to coat the pan. Add the lamb chops to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the lamb chops to cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving for medium-rare chops.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (Dairy-Free)

  • In a pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add onions. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until onions are golden brown but not burnt. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water until easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 cup of liquid, and return potatoes to the pot. Put butter and soy in a bowl and microwave until butter is melted. Pour mixture into potatoes and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add onions and chives and blend with an immersion blender for smooth texture or a masher for a chunkier mash. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid and continue mashing until desired texture is reached. Potatoes should be moist but not wet. Garnish with store bought fried onions.

Minty Peas

  • Boil frozen peas in boiling salted water until cooked (follow package instructions). Drain and return to pan. Add some vegan butter, finely chopped mint, a splash of fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.
Chicken Meatballs with Pesto Gnocchi

Chicken Meatballs with Pesto Gnocchi

One day I wanted to make meatballs but didn’t know what to eat them with.  I didn’t feel like pasta, or a sub, or Ikea sauce, so what else do you do with meatballs?  The Barefoot Contessa made her chicken meatballs into Italian wedding soup (yum!).  Instead, I thought I’d do a GF gnocchi in a pesto sauce.  I had made her chicken meatballs before but adapted them to be gluten, dairy, and egg-free and they were amazing – you don’t need the cheese in them at all.  The secret ingredient is the sausage meat. So much flavour with so little effort is just how I like it.

Cooked chicken meatballs on tray

I also had some leftover homemade pesto in the freezer, made with garlic, fresh basil, arugula, walnuts, olive oil, and Drunken Goat cheese (a mild Spanish cheese soaked in red wine for a few days, leaving it with a berry-stained edible outer layer – I’m not a fan of super strong cheeses so I use this instead of parmesan).   You just toss the gnocchi with the pesto and some fresh arugula and you’ve got a simple fast meal when you want some comfort food.  PS – this meal is very garlicky so keep those post-dinner breath mints handy.

pesto ingredients on board

I first learned how to make homemade pesto in a cooking class at Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto.  My biz partner J and I drunkenly victoriously outbid everyone at a charity auction to win the class where founder Trish Magwood taught us how to make a simple basil, pine nut pesto – so easy and so much fresher and tastier than the oily, jarred store-bought pestos. I changed the recipe cuz I like the bite of a little arugula and the brain food qualities of walnuts.

The good news is both the meatballs and pesto recipes make more than you would need for a dinner for two so any leftovers can be frozen for the next time you need a no-effort comfort meal.  Frozen extras = presto pesto.

chicken meatball ingredients in bowl
raw chicken meatballs on tray
gnocchi brand nuvo package

Chicken Meatballs (gluten/nut/dairy/corn free)

One day I wanted to make meatballs but didn't know what to eat them with. I didn't feel like pasta, or a sub, or Ikea sauce, so what else do you do with meatballs? The Barefoot Contessa made her chicken meatballs into Italian wedding soup (yum!). Instead, I thought I'd do a GF gnocchi in a pesto sauce. I had made her chicken meatballs before but adapted them to be gluten, dairy, and egg-free and they were amazing - you don't need the cheese in them at all. The secret ingredient is the sausage meat. So much flavour with so little effort is just how I like it.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: barefoot contessa, cheese, chicken, corn-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nuts, pasta, rice & grains, pesto, potato, poultry, sauces & dips, yeast-free
Servings: 2
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 lb chicken sausage meat (I used sweet Italian basil)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I thew a couple of pieces of day old bread in a food processor)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (finely chopped)
  • 3 Tbsp soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)

Basil, Arugula, Walnut Pesto

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup baby arugula
  • 4 -5 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely grated hard cheese (I use Drunken Goat as mentioned above.)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Gnocchi

  • Nuvo brand gluten-free gnocchi from Whole Foods
  • A handful of fresh arugula
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • Crushed red peppers (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Chicken Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together gently until just combined - do not handle too much or over mix. Gently roll about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into 1" balls (doesn't have to be perfectly round) and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Basil, Arugula, Walnut Pesto

  • Put the first five ingredients into a food processor and chop until finely minced. Add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time and blend until combined.

Gnocchi

  • I used Nuvo brand gluten-free gnocchi from Whole Foods. It's very tasty, fresh and quick cooking. Cook the gnocchi in 4 litres of boiling salted water for 2 - 3 minutes. Drain and return gnocchi to pot on low heat. Stir through 2 tablespoons of pesto and a handful of fresh arugula. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and crushed red peppers (optional).
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Italian Wedding Soup recipe on FoodNetwork.com

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