Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hashbrown Crusted Breakfast Pie

This is so easy and "change-up-able", and it's often enjoyed for dinner at my house rather than breakfast.  I really enjoy foods traditionally served at breakfast time for dinner.... all of them..... I just love breakfast stuff!  You need to use a deep dish 9 inch (1 qt. capacity) pie plate for this.  Here's what you need to throw this together:

For the crust:
3 cups frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon flour
Salt & pepper

For the filling:
4 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz.) can fire roasted chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup fully cooked ground pork sausage
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
Salt & pepper
Smoky Sweet Paprika (optional)

I've been asked if fresh potatoes or non-frozen grated potatoes would work with this instead of frozen ones, and yes, they will.  I use frozen ones because if I keep them stocked in my freezer, I never have to worry about having to run to the store to get potatoes if I don't happen to have any on hand.  Whatever potato choice you make, the important thing is to make sure you get as much moisture off of them as possible before you add the melted butter and press them into the pie plate. I also use Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage patties, which I get at Sam's and keep stocked in my freezer.  They come 4 patties to a package.  One package is the perfect amount for this.  I just defrost it in the microwave and crumble it up with my hands.  Just get a tube of your favorite ground breakfast sausage and crumble it up and brown it if you don't used the fully cooked version.

I just spread them out into a separate pie plate to microwave them for thawing.

Here, I've patted them dry and added the flour, butter, salt and pepper, mixing with my hands.

To make the crust, defrost the potatoes in the microwave at 40% power for a few minutes at a time, stirring in between, until fully defrosted.  Press paper towels over the top to absorb any excessive moisture, then mix around and repeat once more.  Sprinkle the flour and salt & pepper to taste into the thawed potatoes and mix well.  I just do all the potato mixing with my hands.  Add melted butter, making sure all the potatoes are well coated before moving on to the next step.

There's actually no need to spray the pie plate with non-stick spray before forming the crust, but I can't stop myself, I always do it anyway.  You don't have to! Don't be like me!!!!  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

After pressing the potatoes into the dish with my hands as evenly as possible, I smooth the surface.

Put all the potatoes right into the pie plate and begin forming the crust with your hands, trying to keep a consistently even thickness on the bottom and sides. Once I have it pressed in by hand, I smooth out the bottom with one of my measuring cups.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.


Whisk the eggs well in a large bowl. Add the cheeses, green chiles, cooked sausage, cream, milk, and salt & pepper.  Mix it all up well. Remove the crust from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 415 degrees.

Here's what the crust should look like when ready to add filling - just starting to brown around the edges.

Pour the filling into the crust - you may have a "pile" in the center... just level it out with the back of a spoon. 


This is the Smoky Sweet Paprika I like so much.  You can use regular paprika or none at all, but it adds color to the top, and because the center is somewhat bland looking, I like to add it.

Return to the oven, now at 415 degrees, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until set.  Once it's done, the center of the pie should not be cratered inward, it should be lifted level with the edges, and it should be nicely browned, with a very slight jiggle, if any. 

Here's what the bottom looks like.

 The potato crust will be soft along the inside, but should be crispy on the outside.  It should cut nicely and hold together well.  Let the pie sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

If you keep with the volumes I have used here, you can switch up the ingredients any way you want. Use different cheeses and meats.  Omit one of the cheeses and add some caramelized onions.  Put some sliced cherry tomatoes all around the top.  Add a little Tabasco or Cajun spice blend if you want to.  Make it your way! 

I have also used muffin tins for this instead of a pie plate, but it's waaaaay more time consuming!

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