Introduction: Hash Brown Egg Baskets

About: Just me.
Leftover baked potatoes. You have an obligation to do something productive with them. And you should because there are so many things you can do! This is one way I found that is kind of different and cute. Brunch-y even. 

The idea is simple: Make little baskets out of hash browns, bake them for a bit, and then drop a fresh egg into the basket and bake them a bit more. It looks classy, and it's not that hard to do. 

Step 1: Gather and Prep Your Ingredients

The ingredients and tools you'll need:

3-4 baked potatoes, cold
12 medium (preferred) or large eggs
1 bunch chives or dill (your choice)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Peel or cut the skin off of the baked potatoes. Grate the potatoes using the largest holes of a box grater. Add salt and pepper and 2 Tbsp olive oil and mix the potato hash brown mixture carefully.

A note about substitutions: You may be tempted to try this with frozen or fresh-in-a-bag hash browns. I don't recommend it because they have more water content. The great thing about using leftover baked potatoes in this particular recipe is that in the process of baking they have steamed out a bunch of their water. Added water is not going to help your potatoes crisp up. 

Step 2: Fill 'er Up

Grease a muffin tin generously with butter and fill each well with the hash brown mixture. Carefully create as deep of a hole in each well as possible without making the bottom of the potato basket too thin. It's okay to have strands of potato overflow the sides a bit. The potato basket will shrink a bit and the overhanging parts will get nice and crispy. They'll also help you tell when they're done — if the crispy bits are about to burn, they're done!

Step 3: Bake and Bake Again

Bake the hash brown baskets in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to each basket. If you want, you can add some herbs at this point. You may be tempted to add a whole lot more. How about some ham and green peppers and onions and cilantro and hot sauce and, and, and.... Easy, fella. The key to making these little cute egg thingies work is to not overstuff them with ingredients. You might consider serving them with ham or bacon or what-have-you, but I suggest keeping the insides of these things simple. 

Once you've decided whether or not to put anything else in there, crack an egg into each one. Pop this back into the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the yolks (some will be visible, some may not) have begun to set and the whites look mostly firm.

Step 4: Release the Muffins

Pull your potato baskets out of the oven and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. If you were generous with the butter, they should be relatively easy to remove from the muffin tin with a butter knife after cooling for a bit. Plate with a garnish of chives or dill and serve, perhaps with some ham or bacon. If it looks good, take a photo for posterity. You've earned serious brunch bragging rights.