From The Pioneer Woman
Cooking, March 26

Eggs in Hash Brown Nests

Eggs In Hashbrown Nests

These are the perfect little side dish for Easter Brunch: Tender-but-crispy potato nests with a luscious baked egg in the middle. They go perfectly with ham for a more substantial brunch, or they’re great for a casual breakfast with a piece of bacon. Or two. Or three. Or nineteen.

I will say, when I first decided to try these out, I was excited. I’d seen different iterations of the little cutie-pies and I figured they’d be a piece of cake to whip up. But in fact, I had to go through quite a bit of trial and error before I cracked the dang code. And by the time I figured it all out, I think I’d shaved a good seven months off of my life expectancy.

I started off trying frozen hash brown potatoes, which I initially assumed would work fine. But they wound up being way, way too dry: During the initial baking of the nest, they shriveled to almost nothing, and after the egg baked inside the nests, the hash browns turned a very strange consistency—and there was hardly any potato flavor at all. Super dry, super weird.

Frozen Hash Browns = A no-go for this recipe. Like, totally.

After giving up on the frozen potatoes, I wound up fiddling with fresh potatoes in a couple of different ways: First I tried grating them from a raw state, which didn’t work at all. Too mushy. Didn’t crisp up. Produced angst. Made me crazy.

Finally, the best result came from grating almost-fully-baked potatoes: The consistency was perfect and the potato flavor was fabulous.

Then I slept for a month because I was so exhausted.

It would be a long, long time before I’d be able to trust again.

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