Nested Potato Skins [Potato Skin Nests]



Featured in the September 2012 issue of Southern Living  Magazine!  A Special "Thank you" to the test kitchens at Southern Living and Just A Pinch Recipe Club for the special recognition of my recipe!    

Potato skins are always a favorite appetizer to serve at parties and events.   However,  I wanted to develop a more updated and elegant version to serve at a luncheon, brunch or tea.  So, I began to experiment with different options and  I put together these potato nests.  They continue to be a favorite in my home and on my blog.  Even with the update, these nested skins are still requested by my family for our game day munchies, too.  They're a terrific choice on any day when serving superb appetizers is in order. These little potato nests earned a Blue Ribbon from the Kitchen Crew at Just a Pinch Recipe Club and to my sheer delight, they were featured in the September 2012 issue of Southern Living Magazine!


You'll need:
3 cups freshly shredded russet potatoes or frozen shredded hash browns or 20 oz pkg refrigerated shredded hash browns
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 beaten egg whites
Seasonings:
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4-1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
Toppings:
1 1/2 cups colby-jack cheese
16 oz sour cream
8-10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
chopped parsley or chives for garnishing

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.

If using fresh potatoes:  Shred the unpeeled potatoes into a medium size mixing bowl using a box grater or food processor.  Blot gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.  Don't rinse.  [tip: The starch will help the nests hold together.] 
If using frozen shredded hash browns:  Thaw completely before adding to the mixing bowl. 
If using refrigerated hash browns: To truly simplify, a 20 ounce package of refrigerated hash browns found in the Dairy section of the grocery store, will also work beautifully for these potato nests. 

Mix the shredded potatoes, beaten egg whites, shredded Parmesan cheese and seasonings together.


Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into each muffin cup.  Depending on how you divide the shredded potatoes, you may be able to yield more than 12, so, have another pan handy just in case.  Using your hands, or a small glass, press the potato mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of each cup.   Spritz each nest with butter flavored cooking spray or, you can drizzle them with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter, if you like. [tip: I prefer the cooking spray, so the nests won't become too wet, and will hold together]

Place the potato nests into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and gently run a knife  or an off set spatula around each nest to loosen the edges.  Don't attempt to remove them immediately, allow them to  rest in the pan for around 2 minutes.  If you want your cheese to melt completely sprinkle the nests with the shredded cheese during the last 2 minutes of baking.  Otherwise, sprinkle the shredded cheese into the warm nests on the counter.

To assemble, top with a tablespoon of  grated colby-jack cheese. 


Using a large star tip attached  to a piping bag, pipe sour cream into the center of each nest. [or a teaspoon, of course ☺]  Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top, and garnish with finely chopped parsley or chives.  Serve warm.  Yield: 12-14 medium or 24 minis

Cook's note:
If you'd like to make these bite-size, use mini-muffin pans. They make the perfect bite sized version.  Bake at 450°F for around 15-16 minutes until golden.

Optional serving ideas:
Serve as a side dish with steaks, chicken or pork.
Fill with eggs and crumbled bacon or sausage topped with a drizzle of hollandaise for breakfast.
Fill with pulled pork barbecue and cheddar cheese.
Fill with taco meat and top with your favorite South of the Border toppings.




32 comments:

Catherine Aliff said...

I'm a vegetarian and I think these look DIVINE! Thank you!

Wendy Rusch said...

OMGosh Melissa...these would be a bite of heaven!!! I can't wait to have the opportunity to try them!!! Thank You!!! :o)

Melissa said...

Catherine, my brother is a vegetarian, and it's easy to make these for him using vegetarian friendly ingredients! I hope you enjoy them!

Melissa said...

Hi Wendy!! Thank you so much, I hope you enjoy them! :)

Natalie said...

I have company coming in a couple of weeks & plan to try these then. Thank you so much for sharing it. You make it looks so easy.

Melissa said...

Hi Natalie, they actually are easy..your guests will love them! My family "lights up" when I make a batch!! Thanks for visiting!!

Anonymous said...

These look good enough to eat off my screen! Can I use my Wilton silicone individual molds?

Melissa said...

Thank you! I've never used the silicone molds for these...if you are able to firmly press the shredded potatoes onto the sides, it should work fine, though. Let me know! :)

Nealey @ Dixie Caviar said...

A huge congrats on the Southern Living feature!! The recipe looks amazing!

I like to make eggs benedict and florentine in hash brown nests. Soooo good!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much! Yes, these little nests are very versatile. I use them for breakfast cups also, filling them with eggs, sauteed veggies, bacon or ham and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Thank for your visit ☺

Anonymous said...

I twisted this into a breakfast dish by putting a poached egg on top after the cheese step & garnishing with the bacon, sour cream, & a mixture of sauted finely diced peppers & onions for a brunch. People went crazy for it!

Melissa said...

Sounds fabulous! I often fill these potato nests with other things, the sky is the limit. :) Thanks for your comment. ~ Melissa

Denise Bond said...

Wow and double wow Melissa! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I will definitely make these at my next party! Always looking for fun and different appetizers. Great!
Denise from Denver

Melissa said...

Hi Denise! We love these and they're incredibly easy to make. Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by. ~ Melissa

Melissa said...

Sue, sorry your comment didn't publish. You asked about how to make these for breakfast....I usually cook the egg and add it to the baked potato nests. I have a recipe for "Baked French Eggs" that I bake right alongside these, and then add them to the nests. You can then top with a sprinkle of crumbled bacon, cubed ham, or veggies and a drizzle of hollandaise. Fabulous breakfast nests, and never any left over. You can also scramble eggs on the stove top and fill the nests after baking. Here's the link to my Baked French Eggs:

http://melissassouthernstylekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/08/french-eggs.html

evegordon said...

I'm betting using shredded zuchinni would work wonderfully too !! Cant wait to make them !

Melissa said...

I dearly love zucchini, can't wait until the Summer crop comes in. Great idea! Thanks for stopping by. ~ Melissa

Anonymous said...

How mush do you beat the egg whites? til there fluffy.

Melissa said...

It's not necessary to beat them until fluffy. Lightly beaten will work perfectly.

Ann Thomson said...

I made these for our Chapel's Ladies Night and they were devoured immediately, and everyone wanted the recipe. They were so very good! (The only thing I did differently was pick fresh garlic greens from my garden and chop them finely, and use them instead of the chives.)

Melissa said...

Hi Ann, that sounds wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I love the fresh herbs, there's nothing like it! :)

Anonymous said...

I made the potatoe nest in the mini muffin pans, they went so fast i was glad i had other apps to serve .I will always have a spare from now on, they were great.

Melissa said...

Oh wonderful, I'm so happy your guests enjoyed them! Thanks so much for letting me know. ~ Melissa

Cindy Ralston said...

Wow, these look amazing. I am going to make these in my Demarle Muffin Tray - no oils and no stick! Check out my Demarle site if you like non-stick, no grease, simplified cooking. Can't wait to make these!
http://www.mydemarleathome.com/US11028/
Cindy

cathy said...

My 9 yr old would love these! Id love to be able to make the shells ahead of time & freezing them so I could pull a few out at a time for her afternoon snack. Think its possible? Any tips or suggestions to ensure a good result?

Melissa said...

Hi Cathy, That's a terrific question. I've never frozen these, but I like the idea. My thought would be that they would probably do best, if cooked, then frozen. Perhaps spritzing a muffin tin then re-crisping in a hot oven before serving. They're a bit more delicate than the average hashbrown, so, that would be my only caution. I can't personally attest to the results, of course. If you try it, stop by and let me know how it worked.

Michelle Day said...

Melissa,
I an pinning this and already printed this recipe to try later today! I love potatoes and so do my kids and these potato skins look amazing! Thanks for sharing :)
xoxo,
Michelle

Melissa said...

Hi Michelle! Oh, I sure hope you love these, everytime I make them they are the first to go! Enjoy sweetie, M

Jessica Pease said...

I just made these but my potatoes look brown? not pretty & white like yours. I used unpeeled russet potatoes... fresh. Any idea where I went wrong?

Melissa said...

I don't think you did anything wrong at all. Sometimes potatoes can discolor a bit just from air exposure during the grating process. You might be happier with the look of the refrigerated or frozen shredded hash browns when making in the future.

Rena said...

For the shredded potatos, are they raw or cooked? Thank you!

Melissa said...

The shredded potatoes are raw.

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