So here we are in the last few hours of Hanukkah. I took a pretty low-key approach to the Holiday of Lights this year, skipping all of the big parties, and forgoing oil-drenched latkes and sufganiyot for healthier and more interesting Hanukkah foods, like Yam and Turnip Galettes. But last night, after I lit my customary Beer-nukiah (this year featuring Magic Hat and Brooklyn Brewery) I realized I still had some potatoes left and felt I should use them for something Hanukkah themed.
Just as I was ready to give up and make boring old regular latkes I remembered seeing an episode of Paula Dean’s kitchen where she made a quiche using hash browns as the crust. Shredded potatoes? Check. Lots of oil? With Paula Dean it’s usually butter, but sure, check. And this way I could add cheese in honor of Judith, so it would be even more Hanukkah-y. The results were delicious, if I do say so myself. And honestly, I see myself making this all year round. Yum!
Tamar’s Hanukkah-themed Latke Crusted Quiche
3 cups shredded potatoes (you can use frozen hashed browns if you want)
3 tablespoons butter, melted, or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, or the cheese of your choice
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. If you’re shredding fresh potatoes, let them sit in a colander for a good twenty minutes to drain, then press down hard on the pile with a towel, pushing out as much liquid as you can. If you’re using frozen hash browns, let them thaw, and drain them well.
2. Spray a 9″ pie pan with the cooking spray of your choice, and preheat the oven to 450 F. Gently mix the potatoes with the melted butter or olive oil, and then press it into the pie tin so that it forms a crust. Bake at 425 F for 20-25 minutes, until it looks golden brown and crunchy.
3. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and milk, add the peppers, onion, salt and pepper, and finally the cheese, stirring gently to mix. Note: I chose these vegetables because they’re what I happened to have around the house. Feel free to mix things up as you see fit. Rivka, at Not Derby Pie, has some excellent suggestions of good combos to try in this kind of dish if you’re in need of inspiration.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the potato crust, and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is firm and doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pan.
Make a final toast to Hanukkah, and enjoy!
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.