Cheddar Hash Brown Crust
Some time ago, I shared a recipe that was essentially a speedy solution to a missing ingredient. When I found myself without the ingredients needed to fill the intended recipe–sort of a quiche in a crispy, cheesy potato crust–I made the crust as planned and filled it with what I had on hand. Everyone here loved it, and I’ve made this improvised meal several times since.
Because this crust is an excellent alternative to a traditional flour-based crust (and because I am soon going to share the meal I intended to make that evening some time ago), I thought it worth sharing as a recipe all by itself. Once you see the various filling options I have devised, you may like to use this recipe as a foundation for your own savory creations.
How would you fill this crust?
Shredded cheese flavors the potatoes–no butter or additional fat needed–while the eggs serve as a binder and enhance the texture. Whereas a flour crust can become mushy when wet ingredients are added, this gluten-free base stands up quite well to various fillings. Especially well suited to quiche and frittata-type recipes, use this crust as a foundation for your own savory creations. As an option, you can double the recipe and prepare in a 9×13 pan, adding a few minutes to the cooking time, as necessary.
- 3 cups frozen, shredded (not cubed) hash brown potatoes, thawed and moisture removed (see notes)
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the cheese, followed by the hash browns. Mix well.
- Press the hash brown mixture evenly onto the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown.
- Use as a crust for egg and quiche recipes or other savory dishes.
It is best to measure the potatoes while they are still frozen, as they will squish down once thawed. To thaw quickly, place the potatoes in a colander and run warm water over them. For a crisp, golden crust, be sure to squeeze the excess moisture out of the potatoes no matter which way you thaw them. For most effective removal of excess water, I like to wring them out in a clean tea towel.
This easy egg scramble started as a way to deal with a kitchen oversight and turned into a much-loved meal. Leftovers are delicious gently reheated. For a tasty and quick breakfast sandwich, rewarm a piece and serve in a toasted regular or mini bagel. Extra cheese optional.