birdie in the basket

April 28, 2014 § 107 Comments

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We all have rituals in our lives we love and by nature make them happen.  Without a thought or plan these moments naturally fall into place.  It is a recurring event permanently marked on our minds daily calendar.  My dearest ritual is dinnertime.  Every evening we gather around our table to sit down, share a meal together and nourish ourselves.   This tradition has become such a valued part of our lives. The conversation flows naturally and we are able to slow down and breathe.  And gathering around the table on the weekends for breakfast, unhurried and fresh, is a different sort of gathering altogether.  A perfect start to a day of chores, leisure and a nice bike ride.

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Here is a lovely way to turn an ordinary hash brown and egg breakfast into impressive single serving entrée.  The hash browns are first cooked in a skillet until browned and crisp then divided between the muffin cups.  After a sprinkling of cheese an egg is cracked on top and finished off with a a sliced cherry tomato, a dollop of pesto and baked for 20 – 30 minutes.

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Recipe from Better Homes and Garden.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 2 russet potatoes, washed peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite cheese to pair with baked eggs – I used a balsamic Bellavitano cheese
  • handful of basil or cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of walnuts
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

M e t h o d

Hash Brown Potatoes

Peel and coarsely shred potatoes. Place potatoes in a large bowl; add enough water to cover potatoes. Stir well. Drain in a colander set over the sink. Repeat rinsing and draining two or three times until water runs clear. Drain again, pressing out as much water as you can with a rubber spatula. Line a salad spinner with paper towels; add potatoes and spin. Repeat, if necessary, until potatoes are dry. If you do not own a salad spinner you may use a kitchen towel and wring out your potatoes.  You want your potatoes to be as dry as possible.  The hash browns will steam rather than brown if too much water is on them.  Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to combine.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter foams. Add potatoes to the skillet, spreading into an even layer. Gently press with the back of a spatula to form a cake. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, without stirring, about 12 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and crisp.
Invert a plate over the top of the skillet. Carefully turn the skillet over to transfer the potatoes onto the plate. If needed, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Using the plate, slide the potatoes back into the skillet, uncooked side down. Cook about 8 minutes more or until the bottom is golden brown.  Let hash browns stand about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

While the hash browns are cooking prepare your pesto.

Since it is morning time I chose not to use garlic in our pesto.  If you would like the flavor of garlic add one small clove to this mix.

Place a large handful of your choice of herbs (cilantro or pesto) into your food processor or blender with 1/4 cup olive oil, walnuts and parmesan cheese and whizz until well blended.  Set aside.

Assembling the birdie baskets

Once you are able to handle the hash brown…

Divide hash browns between muffin cups, pressing hash browns into the bottoms and up the sides of the cups.  Add a sprinkling cheese among hash-brown-lined cups. Crack an egg into each cup.  Top each cup with 1 teaspoon of the pesto and two of the tomato halves. Bake for 20 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are thickened. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Carefully remove from the muffin cups.

 

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