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.