In last week’s post, Baked Blueberry Oatmeal with Walnut Streusel Topping, I shared the story of planning brunch for our out-of-town family. In bed recovering from knee surgery and none of my old morning standbys exciting me, I had lots of time to ponder new brunch dishes. My niece recently gluten intolerant, the usual strata was off the menu, as was quiche… or so I thought.
My cyber sleuthing yielded quiche recipes with frozen hash brown crusts, which were wonderfully and naturally gluten-free . I almost went with the frozen potatoes until I realized they needed to be thawed and squeezed dry like fresh ones. Since they weren’t much of a time-saver, I opted for fresh Yukon Golds for their buttery color. Because they are thin skinned, there was no need to peel them. I made my quiche in a 13- by 9-inch pan, which worked well for a crowd
While the potato crust roasted to golden brown in a high-temperature oven, I prepared the remaining ingredients. Four of my twelve guests were kids, so I kept flavorings classic and familiar–ham and cheese–adding scallions for mild flavor and good color.
I thought the milk mixture might leak through, but the potatoes baked into a solid and very appealing crust , which held up well even when warmed again for next day’s lunch.
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes (like Yukon Golds), grated (about 6 cups)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided, and ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- ½ cup thinly sliced scallion greens
- 6 ounces good quality ham, cut into small dice (about 1½ cups)
- 6 ounces (about 1½ cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the potatoes; toss with oil and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper and press into the bottom and up the sides of a greased 13- by 9-inch pan. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes; remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile beat eggs and half-and-half with scallion greens and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Scatter ham and cheese over crust, and pour in milk mixture; bake until just set, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Let stand a few minutes, cut into squares and serve.
Both the baked oatmeal and the hash brown-crusted quiche were hits. The sweet and savory made for good brunch partners, and they were different enough, yet familiar enough to delight everyone of my multigenerational guests.