Potato Nests

I made salmon patties last week. I’ve been eating the fish patties ever since I was a child. They were a Lenten special in our house and always a favorite of my dad’s. He loved salmon patties best when they were served with mashed potatoes and creamed peas. I still serve them that way. If you like salmon patties, you might like to try my recipe. Click here to go right to the recipe. If you’ve checked out the recipes in my newspaper column in the past, you’ll be happy to see they’ve added a printer-friendly version of the recipe.

I like to create shallow nests with the mashed potatoes, forming a perfect shallow well for a generous spoonful of creamy peas. A swipe of melted butter over their tops keeps them moist on the inside and, after a short trip into the oven for a quick broil, the butter develops speckles of golden brown.

I prepare six potato nests at a time. That always provides me with some leftovers to put in the refrigerator for another day. On Saturday morning, I heated a couple of the cold potato nests at 50% power in the microwave oven while my husband poached some eggs.

Poached eggs nestled into Potato Nests, sprinkled with sliced green onions was a satisfying weekend breakfast. If you’re having guests for the Easter weekend (it will be here before we know it) keep these Potato Nests in mind. Make them ahead and they can make Easter brunch much easier. You’ll be a hop ahead.

 Potato Nests

  • 5 medium red potatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup hot milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large egg

Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into large chunks. Place in pot with enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. Drain and mash potatoes. Beat in salt, pepper, hot milk, 2 tablespoons butter and egg, continuing until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add more hot milk if mixture is too thick and stiff.

Spoon mixture into 6 equal-sized mounds on a buttered baking sheet. Use back of spoon to form shallow nests. at this point, potato nests can be covered and stored in refrigerator.

Preheat broiler. If potatoes have been refrigerated, take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before broiling, giving them time to come close to room temperature. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of each potato nest with butter. Slide the pan of potatoes under the broiler. Oven rack should be about 8 inches away from broiler element. Remove Potato Nests from oven when tops are brown.

Leftover potato nests can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days. Heat in the microwave at 50% or 60% power.

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