Monday, January 3, 2011

Single Serve Bird's Nest Baked Egg with Swiss

OK, another New Year's resolution...

The general resolution I made was to focus my blog more.  Instead of just a "what I had for lunch" blog, I want to pass on a few specialties of mine out into the blogging world this year.  So, I am going to start doing a weekly post on "Cooking for Empty Nester's".  Meaning, cooking for just one or two people.  Sure, I love a party.  I love to cook huge elaborate dinners for half the Cul de Sac.  But honestly, more often than not, it is just a meal for Jackie and myself, or a lunch for just me.  It is easy to just pop a convenience food dish into the microwave, plop down in front of the TV and not say a word to each other for the rest of the night.  I know that because I have an ex-wife that I did exactly that with for years.

But I now have a best friend that I cook for.  I want to hear about her day, I want to share a joke I heard or a triumph we experienced and share a tragedy in our life.  So, fellow empty nester's out there, let's make a commitment together to be together at meal time.  No TV, no phones, no computers; just conversation and good food.
Cooking for Empty Nester's Tip #1...
Eat like you are interested in the person you are with.
It sure sounds easy, but when was the last time you at a meal, just you and a significant other without distractions?  If you get a phone call during a meal, do you answer it or let it go to the machine to deal with after the meal?  Do you text during dinner?  Do you eat at a specific time each night so that you can watch Walter Cronkite or reruns of America's Funniest Home Videos?  Well, if so, in my opinion, you are not getting the most you could from being married or having a significant other.  

OK, that was a little soap boxey, but if spending 30 minutes or so a night will become a habit and in the long run for you, better time spent than watching yet another Dad get hit in the crotch.

In my opinion, I could be wrong (but I'm not).

So, here's what i did to make my Bird's Nest Egg...

First, I grated (easy to do with a food processor and the grating blade), 4 medium size russet potatoes, 1 sweet onion.

Next, I heated a couple TBS of Canola oil in a non-stick skillet.

While the oil is heating, I hand squeezed the potatoes and onions to get moisture out of the potatoes.  In the 4 potatoes, I got over a cup of water.  That would have made your hash browns too wet to be the wonderfully crispy, crunchy texture you want.

Pop the taters/onion mix into the skillet and brown the mix until just barely done.  You are going to bake them, so not too done, but not raw either.  Just a nice al dente.

And now, it's time to form the bird's nest... In a muffin pan (love the heart shaped muffin pan (another garage sale find for just 50 cents!!!)), line the sides and bottom with a layer of the potatoes, leaving a well for the egg.

But before adding the egg, I put a bit of Swiss Cheese in the bottom.

then add the egg.

Then I added about a tablespoon of buttermilk to the nest to top the mixture to the top of the nest.

Add another slice of Swiss Cheese on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes

Top with a bit of chopped parsley for color and Salt and pepper to taste!

Dress the plate up with a little fresh fruit, serve for breakfast (makes a great Meatless Monday supper as well), discuss your plans for the day, make her laugh once a day and remember why you picked her.



  1. Sounds like a fun new series...even though I'm cooking for a lot'll still be fun to see what you do. I love your single serve birds nests...the heart tin is such a cool twist!

  2. Sounds yummy and super easy! My husband and I haven't even started to fill our nest yet, so these recipes will be good for us, too!!

    PS... LOVE the heart tray!

  3. What a wonderful presentation! This recipe is a keeper. And I totally agree that dinner table should be that special place that brings family together!

  4. These look awesome! Yum! And thanks for your suggestion on how to use my leftover cheese sauce!

  5. Thank you Dave. This is a wonderful meatless Monday recipe. My new year's resolution (one of many) is to teach my son to cook and to sit down at the table together as much as possible (as my husband and daughter head off to their soccer game). This is one of those great meals that would work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Simple and very midwest--hashbrowns, cheese, eggs, and onions. Yum!

  6. These look perfect, the photos are great!

  7. I love the heart shaped tins. I'm going to look out for one.

  8. Palm trees are back, and the a/c is on. I was just
    Have a good evening.

  9. My husband and I always have dinner together. Either we go out or I cook...we sit, discuss the day and then just relax. It is very important to share except on football and baseball days...then he goes to the room. LOL.

    This dish is a beautiful prepsentation and a great fancy brunch item. You always inspire me...can't wait to try it.

    Thanks for your visits and I enjoy your humor.

  10. Since we're empty nesters, of course I love this idea. And yes, we let the phone go to voice mail, we're not in front of the tv. We are interested in each other during dinner...Our only distraction is the cat. Do we pass? :-) Great idea and love this egg and hash brown dish.

  11. This looks delicious Dave and I love your tips! Honestly, I think they are key whether you are an empty nester or not. Families should spend time together. Some good unadulterated time. And dinner is the perfect venue for it.

    Delicious dish, too!

  12. Dave these looks delicious! I enjoyed reading your post and how right your are!

    Love the idea of the heart shaped pans.

    Happy New Year to you and Jackie.
    By the way, your New Year's pizza looks fantastic!

  13. What a great idea Dave. Both the egg nests and the series for empty nesters. I've been comtemplating changes too. Happy New Year to you and Jackie!

  14. The egg nests are so cute! Btw, I think your empty nesters tips will probably be great for newlywed couples like us who also usually cook for 1-2 people most nights.

  15. Have any recommendations for BECOMING empty in how to get the 22 y/o out? (ha ha, just kidding, he's in school).

    Nice nests. They draw in the eye to the presentation of the plate and can be used in many ways, don't you think? A little of your chili or maybe some pulled pork.