It is 3:30 PM, Sunday afternoon. Neither lunchtime nor dinnertime. I’d spent the morning packing meals at Project Angel Food. Came home and took a 3 mile walk. Football on the TV. The house has a chill – all good reasons to turn on the oven. A Potato Crusted Onion and Cilantro Quiche idea “showed up.”
This is one flavorful dish, I have to tell you. Yet it comes from humble beginnings, basically leftover miss-matched things from the week: an Idaho russet potato. Half an onion. Bunch of cilantro. Kerrygold cheddar cheese. Eggs. And a funny new discovery in our spice cabinet… Bijol.
Our story of Bijol: we were in a farmer’s market in Old Havana, Cuba. I took a photo of a spice vendor’s wares, pretty. I asked our tour guide about the orange spice, but he couldn’t explain what it was. It was just Bijol. I guessed maybe a seasoned salt.
Days later, our group was swooning over a soup at lunch. We discussed that the incredibly delicious flavor MUST have been something like a local paprika, due to the soup’s color. It wasn’t until we got home and I was looking at my photos that I remembered the packets of spice labeled “Bijol.” Googled it, and learned it’s available here if you know where to look. And Larry DID find it.
OK… ready? Say it aloud… BEE-HOLE. Hyuk, Hyuk. Get the humor over with.
Unfortunately, it’s not as yummy as I had hoped. Not much flavor, and hard to describe. Every so slightly smoky, yet delivers a ton of COLOR. So that soup on our vacation is still a mystery. But this quiche is nicely colored and spiced with it.
Cuba is colorful in every way imaginable, from the people to the food. Look at the Bijol-colored garb on this garlic vendor in Cienfuego, Cuba!
PS – Bijol is NOT required to make this dish, just wanted to play with it. It will taste just as delicious with paprika on top, only a slightly different “finish” to the dish.
Potato Crusted Onion and Cilantro Quiche
- 1 Idaho russet potato
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick spray. Using a mandoline slicer or very sharp knife, slice the potato into super thin slides. Place slices in a bowl, drizzle with the egg and flour, toss to coat. Layer the potato slices in the pie pan, overlapping around the sides and bottom, until all used. Bake for 20 minutes while you make the filling.
- 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/3 cup green salsa
- 1 cup grated Kerrygold white cheddar cheese
- A few sprinkles of Bijol
In a medium bowl, toss together the onion and cilantro, set aside. In another bowl, mix the eggs with the salsa.
Once the crust is baked, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In the hot crust, layer half the onion/cilantro mixture. Then layer half the cheese. Layer the remaining onion/cilantro mixture and top with remaining cheese. Pour the egg/salsa mixture over the filling and use a spoon to spread around. Sprinkle the top with Bijol for color. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes to set before serving. Makes six servings.