This Quiche is Magic

In the before times (before Covid, that is), my husband and I would regularly host small dinner/cocktail/brunch parties with our friends and family. It was how we navigated the fact that I am a homebody who cooks, and my husband is a social butterfly who loves interacting with anyone and everyone. It feels like an eternity since we've been able to entertain, of course, but with the light at the end of the Covid tunnel starting to appear, I have found myself daydreaming of lazy brunches and lavish dinner parties. I'm guessing I'm not the only one planning future brunches in her head, so I thought I'd share one of my absolute favorite brunch dishes with you.


I call this recipe Magic Quiche because you can pretty much throw together whatever combination of ingredients suits you, and it somehow always tastes amazing. Maybe it's the crispy hashbrown crust. Maybe it's the fact that you can make it in advance, leaving you free to enjoy a mimosa with your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen all alone. Maybe it's the visual of the decoratively-arranged fillings in the big cast iron skillet. I don't know. But I do know that I love it, and I think you will too.


As you'll see, I've listed the "universal" ingredients that you will need no matter what flavor combination you're going with, along with some ideas for jazzing it up, but feel free to come up with your own flavor combinations. This recipe was adapted from one I found years ago on Epicurious.com.



Magic Quiche


Serves 6-8


Universal Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds frozen hash browns

  • 2-3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

  • 8 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half

  • Kosher salt and black pepper


Pancetta & Asparagus Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

  • 8 ounces diced pancetta, cooked until crispy and drained

  • 2 ounces Fontina cheese, grated

  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed


Chorizo & Chile Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Taco Spice Blend

  • 8 ounces Mexican chorizo, cooked until crispy and drained

  • 2 ounces jack cheese, grated

  • 2 ounces cotija (or feta) cheese, crumbled

  • 4 large poblano chiles (about 1 lb), roasted and peeled and sliced into strips


Mushroom & Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Italian Countryside Spice Blend

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced or cut into quarters and then sautéed until nice and browned

  • 2 ounces gruyere cheese, grated

  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


Denver Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Ranch Spice Blend

  • 8 ounces diced pancetta or bacon, cooked until crispy and drained

  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  • 8 ounces mixed baby bell peppers, sliced into rings

  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved


Cajun Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Spice Blend

  • 8 ounces Andouille sausage, diced and cooked until crispy

  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  • 8 ounces sliced bell peppers in your colors of choice


Spinach & Artichoke Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Greek Island Spice Blend

  • 1 (15oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

  • 1 (5oz) package baby spinach, lightly sautéed so that it is wilted

  • 1 ounces fontina cheese, grated

  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated



Directions:


Preheat oven to 375 F.


Heat oil in a 12" cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and immediately start forming into a crust by pushing potatoes flat against bottom and sides of pan with a 1/2-cup dry measuring cup. Be sure to press firmly and to get potatoes all the way up the sides of the skillet, as the potatoes will shrink as they cook. Season with salt and pepper. Put skillet in oven and bake until potatoes are bound together and crust is brown on the bottom and starting to brown on the top, about 35-40 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.


In a medium pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Set aside.


Whisk eggs, half-and-half, spices, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.


Sprinkle cheeses, protein of choice (or half of mushrooms), and shallots evenly over the bottom of the crust. Pour in egg mixture. Arrange chosen vegetables decoratively on top. Bake until quiche is set and crust is well-browned, 30-35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into wedges and serving from the pan.


Do Ahead: Quiche can be made up to 3 days in advance. Cool to room temperature, then wrap with plastic and refrigerate. To reheat, bake at 350 F until warmed through, 25-30 minutes.


Now pour yourself a mimosa or Bloody Mary because you just won brunch.

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