20 May 2011

Hash browns and egg in a basket

It never ceases to amaze me the difference in foods in separate cultures. Even between the US and UK, which had the same food culture up until 350 years ago, there are so many minor changes in dishes that add up to a whole new food repertoire. I found out that hash browns are a distinctly American food, one that A only associates with the fast food preformed version. I don't usually (as in never have before) made hash browns so this piece of comparative food knowledge escaped me up until now. I will say that planning meals are more fun when I try to make new recipes and find out A has no idea what it is!

Such was the case with the hash browns and egg in a basket I made. This is definitely a weekend breakfast, one where you need to have a hearty start to the day which worked well for us as we had the back garden to tackle.

After boiling potatoes (you can do this before if you wish) and dicing them into large chunks, throw them into a hot skillet or wide pan with chopped bacon or pancetta, onions and lots of butter. As in, a third of a cup of butter.

Season the hash browns well with salt and pepper, and perhaps some hot sauce if you like things hot. Ideally you want to have the potatoes get crispy around the edges. Mine only crisped slightly.

While the potatoes are cooking and almost done, I started on the egg in a basket. I had a friend in college that would make this and I was always amazed that she could cook this perfectly every time. Basically, it is fried bread with a fried egg in the middle, but it looks really great and theatrical if done right. To start, butter a pan and keep on a medium heat. Butter both sides of the bread and cut a hole in the middle of the slice.

Carefully crack the egg into the hole in the bread in the pan. Make sure there is some butter underneath or the egg will stick to the pan and you will end up with yolk everywhere- not pretty.

Once one side of the egg has cooked, carefully flip the bread over and cook briefly on the other side. You don't want the egg to cook all the way so when you cut into it, the yolk streams out.

(The syrup pictured is for the hash browns. If you have never tried hash browns with syrup or bacon with syrup for that matter, you have not fully lived.)

I wouldn't recommend this breakfast every weekend though as it is not the healthiest thing for you. Tasty, but best when you know it will sustain you through a day's work. After eating, I feel like I want to go chop wood or build something, but I made do with mowing the lawn. After two weekends and a new mower (gas and self-propelled) look!

When we cleared the weeds and grass, we found there are baby foxes in the garden. Very cute and great for breakfast entertainment whilst having cereal.


  1. Sounds delicious Mrs Mantilas!

  2. I'd ever heard of eggs in a basket! What a cute idea. I will try instead of French toast next time.