I love waking up to the sound of birds chirping and the smell and feel of a breeze coming in through the window. (We can finally sleep with the window open again!) It makes me feel all charged up and renewed. In fact, this weekend I’ll clean out the closets, straighten up the garage, plant the flower pots, bleach the patio…STOP!
I will not do any of those things. I will celebrate spring with brunch. Brunch served atop a lovely flowered tablecloth with a bunch of fresh tulips* (see below for a really cool tulip trick) on the counter. Ah, that seems so much more calm and pleasant and spring-like, doesn’t it?
These pretty little individual egg cups are just the thing for brunch, and you can make the nests a day ahead. Because we often have many non-meat eaters around our table, I like to make half the cups with bacon and half without– they work equally well both ways.
When making the (unfilled) nests ahead, allow them to cool completely before wrapping them– still in the muffin pan– in plastic wrap. Refrigerate, but allow them to come to room temperature before adding the egg and baking again.
Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Nests
24 strips thick center cut bacon
3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar
½ cup parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
½ teaspoon salt
12 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Place the bacon in a single layer in two large skillets and top each it with a piece of parchment (folded or cut to fit) and a pot that nearly covers the bacon– this weighs the bacon as it cooks and keeps it nice and flat. Once the pans are set up, place them over medium heat and cook the bacon until it is nearly, but not completely, done. Do not allow it to get crisp.
- Lay two strips in an x inside each muffin cup, allowing the ends stick up out of the cup; pat the bacon against the sides and bottom to form the outside of the cup.
- Combine the potato, cheese, parsley and salt in a large bowl; divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Press the mixture with your fingers up the sides and on the bottom of each muffin cup to form the nests. Bake 15 minutes, until brown and crisp. Allow to cool in the pan at least 15 minutes.
- Crack an egg into each nest; bake until the whites are set, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley if desired and serve immediately.
Makes 12 servings
Nutrition per serving: 192 calories, 14 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 519 mg sodium
Note: Without the bacon, they each have about 142 calories, 10 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 249 mg sodium
* Cool Tulip Trick Alert: This really works. To keep your tulips upright, rather than bending all the way over the side of the vase after just a few hours, place a penny in the vase with the water. Your tulips will stay upright and last longer. But do remember you’ve put it there when you change the water– you don’t want it going down the kitchen drain.
Are you looking for more brunch dishes? How about these: