Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hash Brown Vegetable Quiche

I've prepared many a quiche for my family (and a couple of my clients as well), but I don't ever eat it because it's usually loaded with cream and cheese, two ingredients that don't agree with me. I stumbled upon a recipe without cream in a recent issue of Vegetarian Times, and knew I could adapt it for my lactose-free lifestyle. I've also been curious about using shredded potatoes as a quiche crust - not a new idea, but one I'd never tried. So I took both ideas and created one very tasty quiche!

Notes about serving and making: I would happily eat this any time of the day (as a matter of fact, I have); it reheats wonderfully in the oven or the microwave. Any combination of lightly sauteed or steamed vegetables would work in this. Next time I'm going to try broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. If you are not dairy-free, ignore my notes about dairy- and lactose-free cheeses and use whatever kind you like.

Hash Brown Vegetable Quiche

Makes 1 quiche

1 bag of Alexia frozen shredded hashed brown potatoes, thawed
4 T. Earth Balance or butter, melted
2 t. oil - coconut or olive recommended
1 small onion, peeled, halved and sliced very thin
1 small bulb fennel, top and bottom trimmed, sliced very thin
salt and pepper to taste
1 small jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and chopped
a pinch of dried basil (fresh would be even better!)
6 large eggs
1 cup Lactaid cottage cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, dairy-free if need be
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a deep pie dish.

2. In a large bowl, combine the hash browns with the melted butter. Press into the prepared pie dish to form a crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the edges are brown and crispy and the center is beginning to get light brown. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

3. While the crust is baking, heat the oil in a medium saute pan. Saute the onion and fennel until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the roasted red peppers and basil. Set aside to cool a bit.

4. Also while the crust is baking, combine the eggs, all cheeses, and salt and pepper in a blender. Mix until smooth.

5. When the crust is done cooking, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. (I know I said that twice. It's important.)

6. Pour the sauteed vegetable mixture into the crust and spread it around so it covers the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables. Bake (at 350!) for 35 - 45 minutes, or until eggs are completely set in the middle (no jiggling) and top is nice and light brown.

7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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