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Birdie in the Basket

1recipe Perfect Hash Browns*…(We used store bought hash browns…still very good!)

  • 1/4cup  shredded Italian blend cheeses or mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)

  • 8eggs

  • Ground black pepper

  • 8teaspoons  refrigerated basil pesto (optional)

  • 8cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line eight 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with parchment baking cups** or parchment-lined foil pan lining paper with the parchment side up; set aside. Prepare Perfect Hash Browns. Let hash browns stand about 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

2.Divide hash browns between muffin cups, pressing hash browns into the bottoms and up the sides of the cups.

3.Divide cheese among hash-brown-lined cups. Crack an egg into each cup. Sprinkle with pepper. Top each cup with 1 teaspoon of the pesto (if desired) and two of the tomato halves. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are thickened. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Carefully remove from cups.

from the test kitchenHam Cups:

  • Prepare as directed, except omit Perfect Hash Browns. Fit eight thin slices cooked ham (from the deli) into the bottoms and up the sides of eight 2 1/2-inch muffin cups, pressing to form cups. Continue as directed in Step 3.

  • Nutrition per serving: 145 calories, 11 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 10 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 202 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 10% Vitamin A, 5% Vitamin C, 413 mg sodium, 7% calcium, 7% iron

  • If desired, to save time substitute 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes for the fresh potatoes. Thaw potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and continue as directed in Step 2 for Perfect Hash Browns.

    Perfect Hash Browns
    Makes: 6 servings


    • 1 1/4pounds  russet potatoes

    • 1/4teaspoon  salt

    • 1/8teaspoon  ground black pepper

    • 1 – 2tablespoons  olive oil

    • 1tablespoon  butter

    • paprika (optional)

    directions1.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. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to combine2.In a 10-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and the butter 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.3.Invert a plate over the top of the skillet. Carefully invert the skillet to transfer the potatoes to 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. If desired, sprinkle with paprika before serving.

    from the test kitchenMake Ahead:

    • Shred potatoes as directed and place in a bowl of water. Chill in the refrigeratorovernight. Rinse and continue with Steps 1 through 3 as directed.



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