Here's an easy weeknight dinner that you can usually pull together from ingredients you have kicking around in your fridge. Since the food is breakfasty, it would also make for a yummy brunch.
The only "thinking ahead" item is that if you are using frozen hash browns, it's helpful to pull them out and have them thaw (either a few hours on the counter, or all day in the fridge). But there's even a work-around for that. Read on!...
Baked Hash Browns
1 bag frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes, about 1 pound or so, thawed and blotted dry (I use a clean dish towel to do this)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
a few scallions, sliced
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 450 deg. F. Place one oven rack in the highest position, and one in the lower-middle.
(If you forgot to thaw your hash browns ahead of time, spread them on a clean dishtowel on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven for a few minutes while it's preheating until they are thawed, then pat them dry.)
In a 9"x13" glass baking dish, toss the potatoes with the melted butter, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste. Using the back side of a soup spoon, spread the mixture out evenly and up the sides a bit to have a fairly thin layer (about 1/2 inch).
Place on the lower-middle rack and bake for about 45 minutes until as brown and crispy as you like. (Note: you can turn these into an appetizer by topping with some cheese, bacon pieces, and extra fresh scallions at the end and broiling until the cheese is melted, then serve with sour cream, avocado, etc.)
====> While the hash browns are in the oven, begin preparing the Frittata...
Note: this recipe is literally based on the vegetables I happened to have on hand in my kitchen that night. It turned out to be very tasty with this combo, but feel free to vary the types that you use. It's a great way to use up stray veggies that are lurking in your crisper drawers feeling neglected!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, chopped
2 cups kale, loosely packed, coarsely chopped, stems discarded
2 T. cream or half and half
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup or so cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
a few large fresh basil leaves, rolled together and thinly sliced
When the hash browns have approximately 20 minutes left to cook, heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, then add the butter. When it's melted, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes until they are somewhat softened, but not browning yet. Add the squash and the kale, and cook for about 5 more minutes until they are softened and the onions and squash are browning a little.
While the veggies are cooking, whisk the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl with a fork until well combined.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, tilting the pan slightly if needed to get the liquid into the nooks and crannies around the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then cook undisturbed for 5-7 minutes, until it starts to look set around the edges.
Turn off the heat under the pan, and sprinkle the top with cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil. Turn the broiler of your oven on, then place the pan on the top rack and broil for about 2 minutes until the top is puffy and lightly browned. WATCH CAREFULLY! "Brown" can turn to "burned" quickly under a broiler.
Remove the pan and turn off the broiler.
(By the way - if the hash browns are still in the oven during all this, they'll be fine. Just keep an eye on them, too.)
Stick a dinner knife into the center of the frittata to check for doneness. If it's runny at all, just pop it into the oven set to about 400 deg. for about 5 minutes, until it's done.
Serve a slice of Frittata (I usually cut this size into 6 slices) with a good-sized chunk of the hash browns... serve with salsa, ketchup, hot sauce, or just as-is. Yum!