Y2, Week Fourteen: Not Quiche Pie
I was a kid the first time I saw Bill Cosby’s chocolate cake for breakfast routine. If you haven’t seen it, watch it immediately. On second thought, maybe pee first.
Even as a kid, I knew this was genius on many levels. First, it made me laugh so hard I had to change my underwear. Genius. Second, it involved the fairly accurate description of a parental “conniption.” If you have been a small child, you’ve probably caused more than one conniption but could never articulate it properly. More genius. Third and finally, it involved a real live grownup giving kids chocolate cake for breakfast! GENIUS! And, AND, he totally saw the value of this: “Eggs! Eggs are in chocolate cake! And milk! Oh goody! And wheat! That’s nutrition!” So true. Why my parents couldn’t see this was beyond me.
Now, as an adult, I’ve had chocolate cake for breakfast far too many times. Heck, yesterday I made chocolate doughnuts — yes, they are cake, sorry to disabuse you of any breakfast fantasies you may hold. But, earlier this summer I got to thinking about a real breakfast pie, one that was actually intended to be the first meal of the day. Of course the usual sweet breakfast suspects turned up: pancakes, waffles, french toast. All flavored with maple, pecans, apples, and cinnamon. Maybe something flambéed, because nothing says early morning excitement like an out of control kitchen fire while your brain is still half asleep. But that all seemed too expected, and dangerous. What about something savory? Duh, quiche. Been done. Then it hit me: Potato crust! Sausage! Eggs! Veg! CHEESE! That’s nutrition! And in a way that was NOT quiche! That’s breakfast with conniptions only of pure joy. Genius.
- Tomatoes from T-Farm in Spring Green, WI.
- Cheese from Fromaginationin Madison, WI:
Potato Pancake Crust
1 1/2 lbs red or gold potatoes, shredded and drained of excess liquids
1 large white onion, grated (with excess liquids squeezed out)
1/4 cup matzo cake meal
1 egg white
salt and white pepper
Preheat oven to 425°.
Generously grease a deep dish 9″ pie pan with butter (about 2-2 1/2″ deep).
In a large bowl mix together potatoes, onion, matzo meal, egg white, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Scrape into pie pan and press into an even layer that covered the bottom and sides of the pan. Grease a sheet of parchment paper with oil or butter and press on top of the potatoes. Fill with pie weights.
Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes have firmed enough to hold their shape. Carefully remove parchment and pie weights and bake for another 20 minutes or until potatoes have browned slightly. Remove from oven and set aside. Can be made one day ahead, just cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until needed.
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
6 stalks asparagus, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 red/orange/yellow pepper, cut into small pieces
In a medium saute pan or wok on medium/high heat, saute all the vegetables in the oil for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Vegetables should still be fairly firm, but no longer raw. Remove from heat and set aside for assembly.
10 pre-cooked sausage links or Boca Sausage links, if frozen, thaw completely
1/4 lbs Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/3 lbs Délice de Bourgogne (or Brie if you can’t find a triple creme cheese), cut into small cubes
1/4 lbs Sharp Cheddar, shredded
3-5 tomatoes, sliced
Spread shredded Gruyère around the bottom and sides of the crust. Line the bottom with sausage. Spoon in sautéed vegetables, tucking chunks of Délice cheese into the mixture. Top veg with slices of tomato, then cover with the shredded cheddar. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove pie from oven and set oven to broil on High. Crack 4-5 eggs onto the top of the pie and broil for 4-5 minutes until eggs are cooked but yolks are still soft (cook longer if you like firm yolks). Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve warm.