Last week as I prepped what would become today’s recipe, I realized how few true appetizers I post on the blog. Appetizers are for dinner parties or sports night get-togethers, both of which I don’t throw or participate in very often. It’s not easy to plan formal parties when most post-6pm nights I’m too exhausted to interact with humans, Cameron not included.
But even when I was younger and had a close group of friends and a less rigid work schedule, none of us put much effort into appetizer prep. Chips, salsa, sliced vegetables on a tray, and maybe homemade dips. 10-ingredient appetizer recipes? I think not.
If you’re like me, you might wonder when you’d make time to prepare today’s recipe. Stay with me. If you make these once and share them with family or friends, all of you will be hooked on the crisp potatoes, eggs, cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes combo. An added bonus? It’s vegetarian and gluten-free, but even the omnivores at your party will be shoving each other to snag the last one on the plate.
While I’m on the topic of good deals for all, today’s Cyber Monday, and I’m helping to hawk an inexpensive ebook I edited last month. If you’re looking for a good gift for the triathlete or potential triathlete in your life, pick up a copy of The BabyBird Guide to Triathlon: Decide Your Distance, Focus on the Finish.
It’s a fine guide on all things distance training, and it’s a quick read, which translates to more time on the training circuit. Win-win. If running, swimming, and cycling aren’t your thing, check out some of the other guides. Baby Bird is a great start-up company with many e-books to come.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Hash Brown Nests
(adapted from a Simply Potatoes recipe)
Makes 24 nests
– 1 pkg (20 ounces) shredded hash browns
– 5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp lemon pepper (optional)
– 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
– 1 TBS chopped sun-dried tomato packed in oil
– 1 pinch salt
– 1 pinch garlic powder
– 6 TBS goat cheese
– 4 TBS whole milk
– 2 eggs
1. Preheat oven at 400°F.In a medium bowl, mix shredded hash browns with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and lemon pepper. Mix well, making sure the potatoes are coated with oil.
2. Spray or oil 2 non-stick 12 cup-muffin tins with cooking spray. Carefully arrange hash browns evenly in each muffin cup, pressing the sides and forming a small well in the center.
3. Bake for 25 minutes, until they start to brown lightly. Set aside.Reset the oven to 375°F.
4. In the meantime, squeeze water out of the spinach and sauté in remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. Add sundried tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a pinch of garlic powder. Cook at medium heat for an additional 2 minutes. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and milk and mix well until smooth and creamy.
6. In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Add goat cheese and spinach-sundried tomato mixture. Mix well.
7. Fill the potato cups with the egg mixture and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before unmolding. Unmold carefully using a butter knife around the sides of the nests.