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  • Writer's pictureGrace Saadi

Quail Egg and Hash Brown Nests

Here’s a fun take on eggs and hash browns for Easter morning breakfast! The farm where we like to purchase our eggs had some quail eggs in stock and I couldn’t help myself. They’re a buttery and rich mini alternative to chicken eggs and I highly recommend giving them a try if you haven’t yet. Plus, the speckled shells make charming décor if you’re careful when cracking them. This recipe is easy to customize and have fun with, in both flavor and size.


And because they typically come in packs of 18, I got to do some little experiments with them. I’ll talk more on the topic of egg varieties in baking in an upcoming blog post too!

 

Quail Egg and Hash Brown Nests

Makes 12 nests


Ingredients

4 large potatoes

2 large chicken eggs

112 g cup gouda cheese

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary

12 quail eggs


Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 350°F and thoroughly coat a muffin tin with pan spray.

  2. Peel and shred the potatoes, either by hand with a cheese grater or in a food processor. As you're working, immediately place the shredded potatoes in a bowl of cold water and let them sit for 5 minutes.*

  3. Prep the other ingredients while waiting. Grate the cheese and dice the rosemary. Whisk together the two eggs and add the rosemary, salt, and pepper.

  4. Remove the potatoes from the water and place them in a tea towel or cheesecloth. Twist the top of the towel and squeeze out the remaining liquid, then place the shredded potatoes in a large bowl.

  5. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and stir to evenly distribute.

  6. Add the potato mixture to the muffin tin, loosely filling them to the top. Then use your fingers to make the center indent, lightly pressing on the sides to help give stability.*

  7. Bake the hash brown nests for 40 minutes, or until they are brown and crispy

  8. While they are baking, crack open the quail eggs.*

  9. Once the 40 minutes are up, add the quail eggs to the center of the potato nests. Return them to the oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

  10. Remove them from the oven and let cool for 5 or so minutes. Lightly drag a knife around the edge to help release them from the tin.

  11. Optional: add some additional spices, herbs, or seasoning to the finished nests, plate, and serve.

Tips

*Doing this helps prevent the potatoes from turning an off-color and removes some of the excess starch

*My muffin tins were slightly smaller than average, so I had some leftover cheese and potato mix. If this is the case for you, feel free to toss it on a frying pan and make some regular cheesy hash browns!

*Quail eggs can be difficult to crack open, so it may be in your best interest to get some special scissors like these. The farm offered these as well and they were only a couple dollars each. It took some getting used to, but I found the best method was the use the sharp side to cut into the shell, then lift on an angle to remove the top. Be careful not to break the yolk or leave any small bits of shell behind.

 

Side Notes: Variations

-Chicken eggs could be used instead if you can't find any quail eggs. Make them in ramekin dishes using the same method and it should make approx. 6 nests.

-If you love super runny yolks, another option is to make the nests on their own, baking for slightly longer or until your desired crispiness, remove from the oven, and add a poached egg in the center.

-Have fun adding other herbs and spices or combining different cheeses. The more you add, the more natural the nest will look!

Happy Easter Everyone!

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