Arugula, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad

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So the Super Bowl was yesterday and blah blah blah. I may offend many of my fellow Americans when I say this, but what the hell is with everyone and football? Grown men darting around in Spanx, fighting to the death over a charmingly-named “pig skin”, bashing heads like they’re auditioning for Braveheart? Um, hello?

Can you tell I never played sports?
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Baked Eggs in Crispy Hash Brown Nests

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Here I am again with potatoes. My old friend. Loyal. Beautiful. Delicious. It’s hard to say no to something this sexy.

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Am I right? Can I get an AMEN?

And what better friend to pair with potatoes than an egg? There is no partnership in the universe that can top this dynamic duo (although Bert and Ernie do a damn fine job of trying).

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A crispy bed of hash browns, cheesy filling, and soft baked eggs make this a wonderfully indulgent breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, etc. The filling is really the key here– it nicely ties together the egg and hash browns with a salty kick from the Gruyere and a sweet slap in the face from the caramelized shallots.

Be sure to wring out your potatoes well to get out as much moisture as possible, or else you’ll have soggy nests. Yum. Soggy. A great word to use when describing food.

Baked Eggs in Crispy Hash Brown Nests
1.5 lbs Russet potatoes
4 T melted butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 c shredded Gruyere
1/3 c milk
6 shallots, diced fine
1 T butter
12 -15 eggs
1/4 c cream
Pepper
Red pepper flakes
Chives

You can either make this recipe into 18 egg nests or 12 nests and 1 small ramekin, about 6″ diameter (I chose the latter). Grease your pan of choice.

In a skillet over medium-low heat, melt the 1 T butter. When hot, add the diced shallots and reduce heat to low after 2 minutes. Continue cooking slowly over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until very soft and brown. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425. Scrub and peel the potatoes, then shred them in a food processor or with a box grater. You should have about 4-5 cups. Place into a dishtowel or cheese cloth and wring out over your sink. This is best done in smaller batches, to maximize the moisture expulsion. Mix the shredded potatoes with melted butter and press into your greased pans so that you have an even wall of potatoes up the sides and on the bottom of your nests. Bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes or until brown.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375. When the shallots are good and caramelized, place them in a bowl with the cream cheese, red pepper flakes, pepper, milk, and Gruyere.  Mix thoroughly. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture onto the baked nests and smoosh down to flatten (for the larger ramekin I used about 1/2 c). Crack an egg into each nest (2-3 for the ramekin), spoon about a teaspoon of cream onto each one, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the eggs are set (ie, they don’t jiggle when you shake the pan). Cool for 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge of each one, and then lift carefully onto plates. Sprinkle with more pepper and the chives, then serve immediately.

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