Sweet Italian Sausage Quiche with Hash Brown Potato Crust
1¼ C shredded hash brown potatoes, found in the grocery refrigerator section
1 t sea salt, divided
4 T butter, divided and melted
¼ C shredded Parmesan cheese
½ pound sweet Italian sausage
2 T canola oil
½ C red bell pepper, diced
1 large or 2 small scallions and tops, chopped into rounds
4 large eggs, certainly free-range if available
1½ C half and half
1 T instant potato flakes (or 1 tablespoon flour if not following a gluten-free menu)
¼ t grated nutmeg (fresh is always best)
½ cup grated Jarlsberg or good quality Swiss cheese (do not substitute cheddar)
Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Grease a straight-sided 8 inch round baking dish*(see note below). Mix the shredded hash brown potatoes with 1 tablespoon melted butter, ½ teaspoon salt and the Parmesan cheese. Press into the bottom of the round baking dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes (or longer) until the potatoes start to brown. Remove from oven.
Cook the sausage in a medium-sized skillet until almost done. Remove the sausage and drain on paper towels. Cook the bell pepper in the sausage drippings with the canola oil added. (I have found that the Italian sausage I use is not greasy). Remove peppers from the pan and drain. Lightly cook the scallions. Remove scallions from pan and drain.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Whisk the eggs and the half and half together. Add the potato flakes, 3 tablespoons melted butter, ½ teaspoon salt and the nutmeg. Whisk again. Sprinkle the Jarlsberg (or Swiss) over the cooked hash brown crust. (You cannot substitute cheddar—it is too greasy). Sprinkle the sausage, red pepper and scallions over the cheese. Pour gently, filling the dish with the custard mixture. Place in the oven with the rack in the middle. Pour more of the custard mixture into the dish until the dish is as full as possible. Sprinkle paprika over the top. Cook for 35-45 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. Can be served hot or room temperature.
* Note: If you use a 9-inch dish, add another egg and an extra splash or two of half-and-half to the custard mixture.
Serving suggestions: Other than being a great breakfast & brunch dish, you can also serve this quiche with a salad for a light supper. Serve with fruit for pretty brunch.
Yield: 5-6 pieces of quiche.
Source: Inn Cuisine