If you’ve been waiting to make one of my restaurant copycat recipes, then the time to start is now because this one has all the things. Kale! Bacon! Gruyere! Hash browns! Like I said, all. the. things!
Breathe, Kristin. Ok, let me back up. A few weeks ago when I was visiting my girlfriends in Chicago we kicked off Saturday morning as I believe all Saturday mornings in the city should be kicked off – with a delicious, laid-back brunch. We usually do this when I visit, favorite spots in the past include the Bongo Room and I can’t even remember, but this time my friend took us straight to Hot Chocolate, which I will not forget anytime soon.
Hot Chocolate is known for their locally-sourced, seasonal menus (they didn’t even have tomatoes the day we were there as they couldn’t get them locally!) yummy desserts and, of course, the most decadent hot chocolate complete with homemade marshmallow icebergs that melted in our mouths.
My friend Natalie and I split a Cocoa Nib hot chocolate to warm up with before ordering our meals – 2/3 Belgian white chocolate and 1/3 French milk chocolate infused with cocoa nib – and it was like drinking a buttery, melted chocolate candy bar. Pure bliss.
Since we were there for brunch I ordered scrambled eggs with fresh local greens and pepper jack cheese, served with smashed breakfast potatoes. My friends both ordered the Kale & Bacon Quiche which looked so delicious that I’ve been chomping at the bit to make it at home ever since. Here’s my version!
Garlicky sauteed kale combined with smoky bacon and creamy gruyere cheese, baked in a hash brown crust vs a flaky pastry crust, which is how Hot Chocolate’s version came.
A flaky pastry crust is all fine and dandy, if you’re going to a restaurant who will make it for you, but when I whipped this at home I went the easy route (seriously, so easy) and made a crust of simply seasoned hash browns to really highlight the flavors of kale and bacon.
This creamy quiche turned out fabulously. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a flavor profile that’s off the charts. Plus it reheats well and leftovers are just as good!
Start with the aforementioned hash brown crust. Thaw and drain 3 cups frozen hash browns then press them between several layers of paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
Place the hash browns into a 9″ pie pan then add 3 Tablespoons melted –> cooled butter, salt, and pepper.
Use your hands to press the hash browns into the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides.
Bake the crust for 25 minutes at 450 degrees, or until the edges turn golden brown, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Don’t worry if you think the hash browns have shrunk and won’t provide enough crust coverage. The egg mixture will take care of it!
Meanwhile, crisp 1/4lb chopped bacon (about 5 pieces) in a large skillet over medium heat then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and set aside.
Discard the bacon grease left in the skillet by whatever means necessary. I usually line a bowl with foil then discard once it hardens. Easy!
To the same skillet, add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 small chopped onion then saute until translucent. Next add 2 cups chopped kale, season with salt and pepper, and then saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender.
Finally, add 2 minced cloves garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat to cool slightly.
The final step begins with zee eggs! Can’t have quiche without eggs!
Crack 4 eggs into a large bowl then add 1 cup milk (I used skim) salt and pepper. You’ll notice that I’ve added salt and pepper to every layer in the dish – from the crust, to the kale, and now to the egg mixture. You don’t need much, especially when there’s bacon in the dish, but this is a very important step to ensure maximum flavah!
Whisk the eggs together then add 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (a fabulously creamy cheese – sub mozzarella in a pinch.)
Next add the cooked bacon and kale mixture then stir to combine.
Pour the mixture over the hash brown crust then spread evenly and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes before slicing, then serve!
Kale & Bacon Quiche with Hash Brown Crust
Crust adapted from Paula Deen
3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
3 Tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
salt & pepper
1/4lb bacon, chopped
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
2 cups chopped kale
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Press hash browns between 3-4 paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add hash browns to a 9″ pie pan with melted butter, salt, and pepper, then mix and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hash browns are golden brown around the edges. Remove and set aside then turn oven down to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then discard bacon grease.
- Add extra virgin olive oil to skillet then add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Set mixture aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and slightly cooled kale mixture then mix to combine. Pour mixture over hash brown crust then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is light brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
You better believe I went back for another slice of this bad boy. I just loved the chewy texture and taste of the garlicky kale with the creamy cheese and eggs, and salty bacon, naturally. Hope you adore this restaurant-inspired dish too!