Now, Easter brunch is another matter entirely. Hot cross buns and hash brown potatoes and muffins and coffee cakes and quiches and eggs of all manner... Now we're talking a celebratory meal. Add some candied bacon and a chocolate cream egg for dessert and I'm pretty happy.
So this year, I decided Easter would be a brunch to better allow me to focus on all those delicious fat-enhanced carbs. And I decided to combine three of my favourite Easter items — hash brown potatoes, bacon and a baked egg with a perfectly cooked yolk. The result is a filled hash brown "cup" that is easy to prep for a crowd, and even can be assembled ahead of time.
BAKED EGG AND HASHBROWN CUPS
Bags of shredded potatoes usually can be found refrigerated alongside the eggs or produce. If you use frozen shredded potatoes, be sure to thaw them and squeeze out any excess moisture before using.
Start to finish: 1 hour (15 minutes active)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
20-ounce bag shredded potatoes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
12 extra-large eggs
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch chunks and cooked until crisp
Maple syrup, warmed (optional)
Heat the oven to 425 F. Use the butter to liberally coat the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well. Divide the potato mixture evenly between the muffin cups. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to firmly press the shredded potatoes over the bottoms and up the sides of each cup, completely covering them. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the sides of the potatoes are browned and crisp.
Crack 1 egg into the centre of each cup, then top each with a pinch of salt and pepper. Top each cup with several chunks of bacon. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the egg whites are set. Set aside for 5 minutes, then use a fork to carefully remove each cup from the pan. If desired, drizzle each cup with a bit of maple syrup.
Nutrition information per serving: 140 calories; 70 calories from fat (50 per cent of total calories); 8 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 220 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 8 g protein; 310 mg sodium.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at email@example.com