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Challenge: Reinventing Breakfast

Scotch Quail Eggs in Hash Brown Nests

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Hash Brown Nests are a fun and easy way to batch cook breakfast for a hungry crowd, especially on the weekends. You can customize them any way you want with eggs, spinach, ham, tomatoes, bacon, and your favorite melting cheese. With a thought of whimsy, these nests were topped off with miniature Scotch Eggs. And I must say, the results were spectacular!

Scotch Quail Eggs in Hash Brown Nests

  • Yield: 12


  • For Hash Brown Nests:
  • 3 cups freshly shredded Russet Potatoes, rinsed, drained and squeezed of excess water
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • A pinch ground black pepper
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • For the Filling:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons light cream
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • ½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • For the Scotch Quail Eggs:
  • 12 quail eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound good quality bulk pork sausage
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary , leaves picked and very finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh sage , leaves picked and very finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives , finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley , leaves picked and finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • English mustard, for serving


  1. For Hash Brown Nests:Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Spray generously to keep the cheese from sticking.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined.Scoop about ⅓ cup of the hash brown mix into each muffin tin.
  4. Press the hash browns down into the tin and up the sides. Let it come up over the top a little bit, as they will shrink down once baked.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Set aside until you are ready to fill them with the egg mixture.
  6. For the Hash Brown Nests Filling: Scramble the eggs together with the cream and salt and pepper in a large measuring cup with a spout.
  7. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the muffin tins, filling each about ¾ of the way full.Sprinkle on a handful of bacon, then top with the cheese.
  8. Bake at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the egg is no longer runny in the middle. Remove from the oven and the muffin tin and arrange on a serving platter and set aside.
  9. For the Scotch Quail Eggs:Fill a pot two-thirds full of water and bring to a gentle boil. Gently add the quail eggs. Do not over crowd the pot and continue to boil for 4 to 5 minutes for hard boiled eggs. Remove the eggs from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into ice cold water. Peel when cold.
  10. Put the sausage meat into another bowl with the herbs, paprika and a good pinch of salt and pepper.Gently mix until combined.Divide sausage into 12 equal portions.
  11. Place flour in a wide shallow bowl and panko in another wide shallow bowl. Pat 1 portion of sausage into a thin patty over the length of your palm. Lay an egg on top of sausage and wrap sausage around egg, sealing to completely enclose. Repeat with remaining sausage and eggs.
  12. Whisk the large egg in a medium bowl to blend. Working gently with 1 sausage-wrapped egg at a time, dip eggs into flour, shaking off excess, then coat in egg wash. Roll in panko to coat.
  13. Place the coated eggs on a plate and store in the refrigerator, uncovered for 1 to 2 hours. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to side of a heavy pot. Pour in oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat to 375°F. Fry eggs, turning occasionally and maintaining oil temperature of 350°F, until sausage is cooked through and breading is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.
  14. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggs to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  15. To serve, place the nests on a serving platter and top with the Scotch Eggs.Serve warm with mustard.

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Cook’s Notes:

You can substitute the freshly shredded russet potatoes, with one 30-ounce bag of refrigerated Ore Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes that can be found at your local supermarket. Frozen hash browns are not recommended for this recipe.

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