Happy 2009, everyone! Hopefully, you had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Our NYE was a bit lame, I’ll admit – poor Dr. O has been sick, so we spent the night in – but we had a nice day yesterday brunching, watching football, and relaxing with one of our dearest friends.
Speaking of brunch, it’s one of my favorite meals. We have a long tradition of breakfast casserole at my parents’ house, and I’m always looking for new, crowd-pleasing brunch options. That was my motivation for trying today’s recipe – Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust from the December 2005 issue of Everyday Food.
This recipe is basically a two-step process. First, I had to assemble and bake the crust; then, I had to fill and bake the center. I started by buttering a 9 x 2 1/2-inch springform pan. I cut a strip of waxed paper to be the same height as the edge of the pan (2 1/2 inches), lined the sides of the pan with the paper, and then buttered the paper. (The first coat of butter helps the paper stick to the pan.)
I squeezed the excess moisture from 1 pound of thawed (previously frozen) hash browns and placed them in a large bowl. Next, I added 2 tablespoons of softened butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. I mixed everything together and used a buttered measuring cup to press the potato mixture into the bottom and sides of the prepared springform pan. I placed the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and baked the crust at 375F until it was set (about 20 minutes).
While the crust baked, I whisked together 1 1/2 cups of reduced-fat sour cream, 1 package (5 ounces) of soft goat cheese (at room temperature), 1 1/2 teaspoons of coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. When those ingredients were well combined, I whisked in 11 eggs. Once the crust had finished baking, I poured the egg-cheese mixture into the pan and sprinkled it with 4 thinly sliced scallions. I put the pan (still on the baking sheet) back in the oven until the quiche was set (about 50 minutes). To serve, I unmolded the quiche, peeled off the wax paper, and cut it into slices.
This quiche was so beautiful when it came out of the oven… The look of the hash-brown crust is really elegant, almost like a crown. Unfortunately, the taste didn’t really live up to the appearance. I like goat cheese, but it just didn’t seem to work that well in this dish. What I *do* think would work would be substituting cream cheese for the goat cheese and maybe adding a bit of diced ham. This one is gorgeous enough to be worth another try (with substitutions)… I’ll let you know how it goes!
TIPS: Don’t skip the measuring cup when you’re pressing the hash browns into the springform pan. It’s essential for packing the hash browns down well enough to form a solid crust.
Recipe link: Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash-Brown Crust