“Alien Pods” Baked Eggs in Purple Potato Nests
Whether you’re looking for a fun Halloween breakfast recipe for a group (works just as well for an afternoon snack!), or just a good old muffin tin recipe with a colorful twist — I’ve got you. And with only three ingredients – five if you count the garnishes (and OK, I guess seven if you count salt and pepper).
So while this is a great recipe for groups (makes 12!), my day-to-day life is mostly within a family of two. We had these for breakfast three days in a row, and a few snacks. They reheat in the microwave at about 30-40 seconds per “nest,” so if you’re heating, say, two together, heat them up for 60-80 seconds. The egg yolks are kinda perfectly “hard boiled” – fully cooked but still soft and light yellow. Maybe I put a little sriracha on mine. But you do you.
Have you ever cooked with purple sweet potatoes? They’re not soooo different than the orange variety, though there are subtle differences. This recipe features my seasonal fall favorite, Stokes Purple sweet potatoes. They actually get a deeper purple with baking. I love them simply baked, but also in fun and easy recipes like these purple potato nests. You can sub in whatever potatoes you have on hand, but I think you’ll love working with these purple tubers. They are less “wet” than other potatoes which is a good thing for this recipe (otherwise you’d need to squeeze the liquid out). Plus, their deep hue is what makes these Halloween-appropriate. The purples pigment (antioxidants, by the way) bleed into the egg whites, making them a little eerily blue. And voila, “Alien Pods.”
I had a little bit of potato shreds left over after I filled my muffin pan (better more than not enough), so I made one lone potato pancake real quick, which was a nice snack while I finished making the rest of these “alien pods.” I simply pressed it into a ball to remove any excess liquid, then put it in a hot pan with a little oil, 3 minutes per side, flipping once. Transferring to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkling with salt immediately (this is what I always do with potatoes, which love salt). I topped it with some radishes and parsley I had in the refrigerator.
The other main ingredient is eggs. You have eggs, right? You always have eggs in the fridge. Eggs are one of the only foods that provide choline, lutein, and vitamin D in one food.– three nutrients that aren’t always easy to find. Eggs are a quick-cooking and affordable source of protein, and this recipe makes it easy to cook up a batch of them for a crowd.
Here are a few tips that will make this recipe easier than easy. Because it’s already very simple! With just three to five ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen (eggs, potatoes, onions).
- Use a food processor with a grating blade if you have one. It’ll make quick work of the potatoes and the onions. If you don’t have one, don’t fret, just use a box grater.
- Use thin disposable plastic gloves (find them at Asian grocery stores) to keep your hands clean and safe from raw eggs when combining the potatoes, onions, and eggs.
- Use muffin liners to make the baked egg cups easy to remove, or slide a thin wooden or plastic knife around the edges to make it easier to remove.
- You don’t need a cheesecloth to squeeze all the liquid out of the onions the way some recipes will tell you. It’s OK to use if you have one, but if you don’t have a cheesecloth (they’re kind of expensive for a 1-use item), then use a fine mesh strainer and let gravity do the rest (you can help gravity with the back of a wide spoon – more on that in the recipe instructions).
- 1½ lbs Stokes Purple(R) sweet potatoes (2-3 potatoes, makes about 6 cups shredded, loosely packed)
- 14 eggs, divided
- 1 medium red onion, shredded (makes 1 ¼ cups freshly shredded, 1 cup packed after draining)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chile threads (can sub chile flakes)
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and scrub or peel potatoes. Shred potatoes using the grating blade on a food processor (trim as needed to fit your food processor), transfer to a large bowl and wipe out the food processor.
- Shred red onion in food processor, and transfer to a fine mesh strainer. Drain red onions, pressing down with the back of a broad wooden spoon to help remove as much liquid as possible. Add onions to potato shreds.
- In a small bowl, whisk two eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes and onions, and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put a little bit of olive oil into each muffin cup and use a paper towel to spread evenly to coat. Scoop ¼ cup of potato-onion mix into each cup. Use a melon baller or spoon to create a space in the center of each cup, keeping a layer of potatoes on the bottom and sides of the cup.
- Bake on the center rack for 15 minutes, remove from oven and season with salt and pepper, then cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Place an egg into each cup and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes to desired doneness, where 15 minutes will produce a “hard-boiled” yolk. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Remove from muffin pan, garnish and enjoy.