We are gearing up for The Boy to start middle school. There is the normal preparation of buying school supplies and uniforms and the drama of dealing with a tweener boy. But we have also learned that the bus will pick him up around 6:30. Yep. A.M. Yikes.
I truly am a morning person and, to some extent, so is The Boy. But he’s not very fast in the mornings and the thought of waking him any earlier than 5:30 is not appealing. I’m expecting that most mornings will be a struggle to get him fed and out the door in time for the bus. So I’ve been trying to come up with some make ahead ideas that he can toss in the microwave and eat while running out the door to catch the bus.
Not long ago, I saw a cool recipe for eggs baked in a little potato nests (Idaho Sunrise). The original recipe called for hash browns, shredded cheese, eggs, bacon and parsley and was more a of a baked egg. I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to make it a bit more like quiche. And with egg prices on the rise it could be a bit of a money saver as well. Although this recipe is pretty basic, you could do almost anything with this. Add whatever cheese, chopped veggies or meats you like. Fresh herbs and cheese would be delicious. Or try these with spinach, tomato, oregano and feta for a Greek twist. Really the possibilities are endless. You could make this kosher, dairy free or vegetarian. Just remember that these are tiny hand held quiches, so you want everything chopped pretty small. As with normal quiche, this is a great way to get rid of small quantities of leftover meats and veggies.
We love these and have done them multiple ways. They freeze great. Just bake them off, cool them and then freeze in zipper bags. Take out the bags or individual nests and thaw overnight. You’ll just have to microwave for about a minute to get a hot, ready to run breakfast. Or lunch, I took a couple into the office for lunch yesterday. Yummy!
Nest Egg Mini-Quiches
- 3 C frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
- 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t ground black pepper
- Butter or oil for greasing pan
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 C milk, cream or half and half
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1 1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 strips bacon, cooked crisp then chopped
- 1/4 C C scallions, sliced thin
- 1-2 C cooked chopped spinach, moisture squeezed out
Preheat oven to 425. Generously grease muffin tin.
Combine potatoes, 1/2 C cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Put 1/3 – 1/2 C of potato mixture into each muffin cup pressing into bottom and up sides. Add more potatoes as needed to each cup so that they reach the top of each cup. Bake for 15 minutes, covering with foil it they start to get too brown.
While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together eggs, milk, and pepper (no need for salt here as there is plenty in the bacon and cheese filling). Mix bacon, scallions, spinach and 1 C cheese together in a separate bowl.
Remove potatoes from oven after about 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350. If potatoes have slid down sides a bit, you can carefully mash them into the sides with the back of a spoon. Do I need to tell you this will be uber hot and to be careful? Well they will be UBER hot so be careful or just skip this step unless you are feeling a little OCD.
Fill each cup about halfway with meat/veggie/cheese mixture (about a heaping 1 T of filling) and then cover with egg mixture not quite to the top of each cup (they will puff up quite a bit as they cook). Top with a sprinkling of remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until eggs are just set.
Slide a small knife around edges to loosen and remove from muffin tin. Don’t worry if some of them don’t just pop right out. Some are going to be ugly! Serve warm.
To freeze for later, simply allow to cool completely. Once cool, place in a zipper freezer bag and remove as much air as possible (I suck the air out with a straw like a nerd). Freeze until ready to use. I generally remove them from the freezer the night before and then pop one or two in the microwave on high for about 1 minute. But I forgot to take a couple out of the freezer last night. Popped one in the microwave this morning frozen and nuked it for 1 1/2 minutes. It was just fine!
I’ll be intrigued to hear how you guys mix this one up! Share your favorite variations in the comments. I can’t wait to try them and to hear your feedback!