These ham and egg hash brown nests could quite easily be devoured during a lazy weekend brunch. A glass of champagne, crisp salad and the weekend newspapers and I would be a very happy lady. Also the perfect addition to a picnic, especially now the warmer weather has hit us in Australia.
The trick with these hash brown nests is all in the timing of the eggs. Ideally you want an egg yolk that isn’t pale yellow and solid. Nor the opposite of runny if they are heading to a picnic with you. Of course runny is perfectly acceptable if brunching at home if you like your yolks that way.
My ideal result with these hash brown nests is an egg yolk that is golden and gooey, like the texture of ripe brie. It’s a fine line between overcooked and nearly solid gelatinous yolks.
Unfortunately I don’t have a failsafe method of making sure your yolks don’t go solid on you. The hash brown nests and ham offer some protection I believe. Really the only tip I can give you is to keep an eye on them. Once the whites are cooked through, pull them out of the oven. Even if the yolks look like they will be a little runny, they will continue cooking once out of the oven. You need to whip them out as soon as they are set, when the whites are no longer opaque.
I may not be very helpful with the egg yolks, except getting you to stand by the oven door like a stalker. But for removing liquid from grated potato I do have a great tip.
Removing liquid from grated potato is probably one of my least favourite things to do. A close second is removing liquid from zucchini (basically the same thing) and removing skins from hazelnuts.
How do you easily remove liquid from grated potato? If you are like me you have spent many hours squeezing out liquid manually with your hands over and in a colander. Well my friends no more. Use a salad spinner! Layer grated potato evenly over the basket of the spinner, then spin, spin, and spin some more. Saves the hands and wrists with better results than endlessly squeezing.
- 600g/2 cups potato, grated and squeezed of as much liquid as possible
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 7 eggs
- 15 slice round sandwich ham, cut in half (see notes)
- 55g/1 cup vintage cheese, grated
- 20g/1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- sweet mustard pickle
- ½ bunch chives, finely chopped (extra for garnish)
- Preheat oven 200°C (395F°) and line 6 muffin holes of a jumbo muffin tin with baking paper ensuring it extends above the edges.
- In a large blow mix squeezed (or spun) potato, salt, pepper, flour and one egg. Mix until well combined.
- Evenly distribute potato mixture between the lined muffin holes. Press the potato mixture into the base and up the sides.
- Place muffin tin in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the hash brown nests are lightly golden around the edges.
- Remove muffin tin from the oven and place on a heat resistant surface.
- Dollop a teaspoon of sweet mustard pickle on the base of each hash brown nest. Place 5 half slices of ham, round side up and overlapping around the inside of the hash brown next.
- Mix grated vintage and parmesan cheese together and evenly distribute between each nest, sprinkling over the sweet mustard pickle. Sprinkle some finely chopped chives over the cheese and then crack an egg into each nest.
- Bake for around 15-20 minutes until egg has just set.
- Serve sprinkled with remaining finely chopped chives.
- Notes: I used the packaged round sandwich ham, approx 10cm in diameter. You can use any ham you wish to layer around the hash brown nests.
The use of a teaspoon of sweet mustard pickles adds a wonderful taste element to these ham and egg has brown nests. It’s an unexpected tang on the tongue that marries well with the ham and the creaminess of the egg yolk.
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