Egg & Hash Brown Nests (bacon & havarti)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 egg nests (one 6-well muffin tin)
 
All the breakfast flavors you love, in one dish! Muffin tin egg nests are a great brunch or breakfast alternative.
What to get:
  • 2 cups raw hash brown potatoes (not frozen, either bag of fresh or grated fresh)
  • 6 eggs (large, but not XL)
  • 3 strips maple bacon, crisped & chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper (finely ground)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices Havarti cheese (small ~1 inch square slices, can use any cheese)
  • *cooking oil spray (to coat muffin tins)
  • *larger size muffin tin (with 6 wells, recipe can be doubled)
What to do:
  1. Crisp slices of bacon in skillet, set aside and chop.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Spray muffin tin liberally with canola or vegetable cooking oil spray (coating well bottom & sides).
  4. In bowl combine shredded potatoes, parmesan, salt, pepper, paprika, minced garlic, stir well to coat.
  5. To oiled muffin tin, press ~1/4 cup hash brown potato mix into each well, using hands to depress/form a ‘nest’ with potatoes evenly spread out on bottom & up sides to ‘hold’ egg.
  6. Lightly spray top of potato nests with a little more oil.
  7. Bake hash brown nests in 425 degree oven until browning (15-20 mins), check partially through cooking to make sure they’re not over-browning (if so reduce heat to 400, if not browning raise temp to 450—mine took longer, 20 mins partially at 450).
  8. Remove browned nests from oven & cool completely in pan & reduce oven temp to 375 degrees.
  9. To each browned nest, sprinkle ~1 tsp worth of chopped bacon (pressing bacon slightly down against bottom of potato nest to save room).
  10. To bacon add small slice of the havarti cheese (or sprinkle any shredded cheese) just a little to coat, but not to fill well of muffin tin too high).
  11. Carefully crack one egg into each nest (6 wells total), carefully to not spill/overflow egg white & also centering yolk in middle (they should be very full, but not overflowing the pan).
  12. Bake eggs in nests until whites are cooked through and yolk is desired doneness (I like mine partially runny) ~15-18 minutes (check periodically and if cooking fast reduce oven temp to 350 and/or take out pans early).
  13. Cool pan enough to handle and then using a knife carefully loosen edges of nests and with a small spatula carefully remove nests scraping bottom to make sure nest stays intact.
  14. Serve warm!
Notes:
This recipe is easily doubled. Depending on the amount of moisture in the shredded potatoes you’re using, your cooking time to brown the nest will vary. I use a bag of fresh hash brown potatoes, pre-shredded at the store (refrigerator, dairy isle). These are easy and time-saving. Otherwise, you can shred russet potatoes, peel & grate for hash brown-style potatoes (in the latter case pre-baking the potato slightly helps with shredding, or use food processor attachment). Frozen variety have too much moisture so I never use. Make sure you spray oil the muffin tin really well, so the nests do not stick when removing from pan to serve. Continue to bake just the hash browns initially to achieve a golden brown nest (vary temp accordingly, avoiding scorching them). With one batch I began to see bubbles forming in the cooking egg white, so I used prong of a fork to dissipate them.
If you prefer your yolk to be firm & cooked-through, simply bake a longer, I prefer runnier yolks, so I just watched the egg closely as they cooked. Also, any cheese will work here!
Recipe by the dinnervine at http://www.dinnervine.com/2015/04/egg-hash-brown-nests/