On more than one occasion, a mistake in the kitchen has led to an improvement on an old recipe or an altogether new recipe. I have cut recipes in half, only to mindlessly use the number of eggs meant for the full recipe. I have used baking soda instead of powder, spilled a little too much liquid into the mixing bowl, and completely forgotten to add the sugar to a cheesecake.
The cheesecake wasn’t so good. But the other recipes mishaps I mentioned actually taught me something. In the case of the first recipe listed below, I was certain I had a bag of frozen broccoli in my freezer. When there was no broccoli to speak of—and no spinach for an easy substitute or time to run to the grocery store—I worked with what I had.
Instead of filling my cheesy potato crust with the intended ingredients, I scrambled some eggs and topped this makeshift meal with chopped tomatoes, avocado and a little crisp bacon. Then I finished it off with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar and gave it a quick broil to melt the cheese. Just like the versatile omelet, toppings or mix-ins may be varied according to taste. That said, if you like eggs, this dish is perfectly delicious with just the eggs and cheese. As an added bonus, the ingredients are easy to have on hand and the crust may be prepared in advance and reheated for a super-speedy meal.
The crust itself is simple yet surprisingly tasty. 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 base stands up quite well to various fillings. What essentially began as a gluten-free alternative to a regular quiche crust has become a go-to base for many different recipes.
My improvised meal was so well liked that I have made this “mistake” on purpose many times since. In general, eggs are a popular dinner in our house, and I find I have more time to be creative with them in the evening than first thing in the morning. That said, the following recipes would be perfect for breakfast or brunch. I have even reheated the last portion, cut it into small wedges, and served in toasted mini bagels for speedy breakfast sandwiches. They’re rather tasty!
Yields 4-6 servings
- 3 cups shredded hash brown-style potatoes, thawed (not the cubed variety)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 8 eggs, divided
- 3 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1/2 an avocado, diced
Squeeze excess moisture from the hash browns. (I like to wrap them in a clean tea towel and wring out the extra water.) Then mix with 3/4 cup cheese and 2 of the eggs which have been lightly beaten.
Press the mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate and bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are crispy and golden brown.
Meanwhile, on your stovetop, scramble the remaining 6 eggs in a medium-size skillet. Place the cooked eggs in the hot crust, and sprinkle with the bacon, tomato and avocado.
Top with the remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese (or 1/2 cup if you like it cheesier). If desired, broil for about a minute, watching closely, or until cheese is just melted.
…and the originally-intended recipe — Potato Crusted Broccoli and Bacon Frittata
This was so good! Keeper! Thank you!
You’re welcome…and yay!
This has become a favorite here! My hubby loves it with bacon, but sometimes I use sausage instead or a combination. Yummy for any meal!
I’m so happy this has become a regular, Michelle, and I agree — I enjoy this any time of day!
Hi Ann, you said you could make the crust in advance how would you suggest to reheat it? Looking forward to trying it just wondering how to reheat the base crust without burning it.
Hi Karen, I would let it sit at room temperature while the oven is preheating to 350 degrees F and then heat it for 10 minutes. Check it, and if not hot enough, give it another 5 minutes or so. That should do it!
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saw this in the Sunday News and made two of these pies for dinner that evening! They are fantastic and super easy to make. We ate the left overs for breakfast! Love your recipes!
Thank you, Judy, for the great feedback. It is much appreciated!
Thinking I will make this for dinner tonight Ann. I have plenty of eggs and I just bought some frozen hashbrowns which I need to thaw. It sounds great and leftovers will be good for breakfast.
Enjoy, Mary Lou! Looking forward to hearing what you think!
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This sounds really good! Have you ever cooked the eggs in the oven, like a casserole, maybe after the crust has baked 10-15 min? I could possibly see omitting the step of scrambling the eggs and just adding some cheese during the last few minutes of baking.
I have several recipes where I cook eggs in the oven (single eggs baked in an avocado or potato and various frittata recipes). For this recipe, my usual way is to make a sort of quiche out of it only, as I mentioned, I was lacking ingredients so I improvised! I will make the recipe again soon so I can share a favorite way I like to use this crust. It works quite well and the add-ins can be adapted like your favorite omelet. The way I make it, which fills the crust, requires about 20-25 minutes of additional cooking time. I hope this helps!
I wish I’d thought to look for instructions before I began… I saw a couple of pie crusts I. The fridge and decided to get creative. Which led me to chop up a pepper an onion and Sautee with hashbrowns from the freezer (butter garlic and salt, fresh basil) then I whipped 4 eggs with heavy cream more garlic and pinch salt. Put pie crust in a tin filled with Sautee poured in whipped eggs and added several kinds of cheese. Stirred it together and topped with other crust… then I thought how hot should I bake this… I went with 375° for 45 mins but im realizing I’ve made a couple mistakes. I didn’t prebake the crust and I’m a little hot if I follow quiche instructions. Oh well maybe one day I’ll learn to educate and then create
Maybe you can try this recipe the next time, Eric. I do love where you were going…and we learn a lot when we wing it!
I made your egg and hashbrown crust meal for supper Friday night and i want to tell you that my hubby and I loved it! and we had enough left over for a great breakfast Sat. morning. I patted the crust into a well greased pizza pan. I had fried some veggies I had in the fridge–asparagus(we love asparagus with eggs),mushrooms,and peppers.(no onions because they are in the hashbrowns I used.) After the crust was brown,I topped with the veggies,eggs bacon crumbles, and cheese. Melted the cheese under the broiler. So many combinations possible! Thanks for such a great recipe!!!!
Many thanks for the fantastic feedback, Bev, and I love your suggestion of using a pizza pan for another round! That is a great thing about a bag of hash browns…there is enough for more than one meal!