Birdie in the Basket

BAKE: 18 MINS 350°F






1 recipe Perfect Hash Browns*

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

8 eggs

Ground black pepper

8 teaspoons refrigerated basil pesto (optional)

8 cherry 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 Kitchen

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.


Look for unbleached chlorine-free baking cups. These are made of parchment, but not always labeled as such.

Perfect Hash Browns

1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

paprika (optional)



  1. 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 combine
  2. 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.

Nutrition Facts (Perfect Hash Browns)

Per serving: 110 kcal , 4 g fat ( 2 g sat. fat , 5 mg chol. , 120 mg sodium , 17 g carb. , 1 g fiber , 2 g pro.

From the Test Kitchen

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

Nutrition Facts (Birdie in the Basket)

Per serving: 168 kcal , 9 g fat (3 g sat. fat , 1 g polyunsaturated fat , 3 g monounsaturated fat ), 192 mg chol. , 184 mg sodium , 14 g carb. , 1 g fiber , 1 g sugar , 9 g pro.