Baked Hashbrown Potato Nests (with Asparagus Scrambled Eggs)

Spring is here. I can smell it!

It's still chilly, but something feels a little different out there. I swear it smells...warmer.

I've been keeping the windows open in the afternoons. Letting the crisp fresh air blow in through the drapes, sweeping through with those tiny hints of spring-like sweetness.

I've been reaching for lighter, brighter outfits. I've been leaving my coat open and my scarf at home.

I even noticed the beginning of flowers bursting through the ground in the park where I walk Hudson.

It's here. I'm sure of it.

The world is about to burst with beauty.

Spring to me equals brunch, and with Easter coming up this weekend, I thought it was time to share a fun brunch dish that's perfect for entertaining guests: Baked Hashbrown Potato Nests filled with a Cheesy Asparagus Scramble.

I love having people over this time of year.  It's also the time of year that makes me wish I had a large patio or roofdeck or some kind of outdoor space to entertain in. (One of the many reasons why I'm excited about the picnic-style lunches and s'mores around the bonfire events I have planned for the A Sweet Escape culinary retreat I'm hosting in June.)

But this little dish is just as lovely indoors with the blinds hiked high to let the sunshine in.

These easy hashbrown cups are baked until crisp then filled with soft asparagus scrambled eggs. Top with a dollop of tangy yogurt and a few parmesan shavings, then serve with a mixed green salad.

This recipes is wonderful for Easter brunch or just any lovely day this Spring. You can even go tinier with these and make them into bite-size appetizers!

(The potato baskets can actually be filled with anything. Eugene's dinner last night was hashbrown baskets filled with yogurt, salsa, chorizo, chees, and sauteed veggies--almost like little taco baskets.)

Enjoy & Happy Spring!

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Baked Hashbrown Potato Nests with Cheesy Asparagus Scrambled Eggs
Makes 12 baskets (serves 4-6)
Ingredients
For the nests:
7 medium sized Russet (Idaho) potatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Vegetable oil spray (or vegetable oil)

For the filling:
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and diced into 1/2" pieces
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus 12 large shavings of cheese for garnish
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt or creme fraiche

Mixed greens to serve on the side.

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray or a cloth dipped in vegetable oil.

Wash and peel the Russet potatoes, dropping them into a bowl of cold water as you do so, so as to prevent browning. Grate them all using either the grating blade on your food processor, or by hand with a box grater, then place in a fine sieve or length of cheesecloth and squeeze out to remove as much excess water as possible (this will keep them crispy).

Mix potatoes with 1 large egg and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Divide potatoes into the muffin tins--about 1/4 to 1/3 cup per tin, then press into the sides to form a small basket. Spray or brush the insides with a bit more oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake about 25 minutes, or until tender on the inside and crisped on the outside and edges.

Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges to release. Let cool slightly, then turn out.

While the potato baskets cool, prepare the filling. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet and saute the asparagus for 2 minutes until bright green and just a bit tender. Remove from skillet. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, water, and a bit of kosher salt and black pepper. Whisk in the grated parmesan and then scramble on low heat until cooked to desired doneness. Add the asparagus back in and divide among the potato cups. Top with a dollop of yogurt and a shaving of parmesan.

Serve with a side salad.





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