Idaho Hash Brown Baskets with Baked Quail Eggs

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 Thought

Did you know February is potato-lover’s month? Well that was news to me as well (as if I need a reason to eat more potatoes). I learned about this at the 2015 Potato Palooza Party sponsored by Don Odiorne of the Idaho Potato Commission and hosted by Erika Kerekes of In Erika’s Kitchen & Judy Lyness of Two Broads Abroad.

There, potatoes were smashed, shredded, whipped, roasted, smothered & decorated from savory to sweet. More than 30 Southern California food bloggers were present, each swooning with delight. Individual dishes were cleverly coordinated with a holiday, reminding us of the potato’s year round availability.

Praiseworthy Potatoes

I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like potatoes in some form. Potatoes are grown in more than 125 countries and eaten by more than a billion people daily, facts which pretty much paints the whole picture. Potatoes are universally loved. Why? Their price, versitility, flavors, and the fact that potatoes have more potassium than a banana, more vitamin C than an orange, and more fiber than an apple. Not only that, they’re a lean cuisiner’s dream – the average potato has only about 100 calories and is 80% water.

Since the potato is so healthy, it was easy to justify making a whole meal of fabulous potato bites at the Potato Palooza Party. Here were a few of my favorites:

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 ThoughtIdaho Potato Tacos for Cinco de Mayo presented by hostess Erika.

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 ThoughtHerbed Idaho Potato Parfaits for St. Patrick’s Day

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 ThoughtBacon-Wrapped Idaho Potato Skewers for Labor Day

Co-host Judy from Two Broads Abroad created this wonderful appetizer which is simple to make. Simply boil fingerlings for about 10 minutes. Drain & cool. Slice potatoes in half and wrap with bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Once potatoes have cooled insert skewers. Just before serving place on a griddle or grill and cook until golden. Drizzle with Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup and serve immediately. As you can imagine there weren’t any leftovers of this delectable treat.

It was fun watching each dish being created.

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 Thought

Judy was skillfully teaching our youngest food blogger Simone here to crack quail eggs, a lesson I quickly honed in on since I had never done it. Simone quickly mastered the skill and our appetizers were soon within reach of eager tastebuds.

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 Thought

Putting the pesto in a zip lock bag with one corner snipped off makes filling the hash brown nests easy.

Potato Palooza 2015  | She Paused 4 Thought

Simone proudly served these delightful bite-sized breakfast-inspired appetizers of hash browns with pesto and quail eggs, which are perfect for Easter or any other brunch/party. They are also addictive. Seriously, I could have eaten the whole tray myself.

Note: Quail eggs can be found in most Asian markets, higher end grocery stores & online.

Idaho Hash Brown Baskets with Baked Quail Eggs
  • 2 medium Idaho Russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus additional for serving
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I always use Kerrygold)
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto (try Trader Joe's pesto)
  • 12 quail eggs
  • Equipment: mini muffin tin
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash the potatoes and prick each a few times with a fork. Bake the potatoes until they start to soften but are definitely not completely done, about 20 minutes. Let cool about half an hour. (This can be done a day ahead of time.) Leave the oven on.
  3. Grate the semi-baked potatoes with a hand-held grater - peel them first if you like, although it’s not necessary. In a medium bowl put the grated potatoes, cheese, salt, pepper, and butter; toss well to combine.
  4. Spray the mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Using about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture for each mini muffin cup, press the potato mixture into the muffin cups, making a well in the center and pushing the potatoes up and over the sides of the cup (they will shrink in the oven).
  5. Bake the hash brown “baskets” 20-30 minutes, until the undersides are deep golden brown and the tops are at least light golden and starting to crisp around the edges. Again, leave the oven on.
  6. Remove the baskets from the oven. Put a small dollop of pesto into each cup, then crack a quail egg on top of the pesto. Put the baskets back in the oven for exactly 5 minutes; you want the whites of the quail eggs cooked but the yolks still very runny.
  7. Use an offset spatula to put the hash brown baskets on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Preparation time: 1 hour | 6 servings

Lots of spudtacular fun was had at the Potato Palalooza 2015. Check out this video from fellow blogger Sara O’Donnell of Average Betty Blog.



I would like to thank Don Odiorne and the Idaho Potato Commission for sponsoring #IdahoPotatoPalooza. For more inspiring recipes using Idaho Potatoes, check out the Idaho Potato Commission Website.

she paused 4 thought line break

Oscar Wilde said “Potatoes are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”
I say “Once you understand them, there is nothing not to love.”
…and then, she paused for thought.

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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27 Responses to Idaho Hash Brown Baskets with Baked Quail Eggs

  1. Leslie Macchiarella February 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    What fun! Those little quail eggs in their potatoe nests with pesto are adorable! And your photographs are always so fun to see! Thanks for the recipe. I’m so all over this! I think I just also might eat the whole myself!

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      Leslie, they are that good which makes them hard to share.

  2. Judy at Two Broads Abroad February 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    This is a wonderful write up. As always your photos are simply marvelous.

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

      Thanks Judy, you recipes were fabulous!

  3. sippitysup February 16, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    Those little baskets were delicious. It was great seeing you at Potato Palooza . GREG

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      They were so good. Great seeing you too Greg!

  4. Rona Lewis February 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    I’m wondering of you can’t do almost the same thing if you DON’T have quail eggs. Perhaps beat regular eggs a bit and pour a little in where you’d use the quail egg. Would that work? i got the pesto covered!!

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

      LOL Rona, I am not sure about regular eggs, unless you used regular muffin tins. Then it could work if you baked it longer. I know can buy quail eggs in your neighborhood. Give them a try.

  5. Adri Barr Crocetti February 16, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    Potato Month – who knew? I love potatoes. When I was little, my mom used to call me “The Potato Kid.” your dish is beautiful and so very elegant. Brava!

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Potato Month was news to me as well. I am assuming your mom called you the Potato Kid because you loved potatoes so much? Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Susan Herrmann February 17, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    I think I could eat a tray of these right now, Cathy! Gorgeous photos, and looks so appetizing.

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Thanks Susan. I think I did eat the tray of them. 🙂

  7. Nanette February 17, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Beautiful! I’d love to have one for breakfast. FYI – quail eggs are available at almost any Asian market.

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Thanks Nan, I hope you try this one.

  8. shockinglydelicious February 17, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Wonderful recount of a very fun evening! As always, you hit it out of the park.

    • Cathy Arkle February 17, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Thanks Dorothy! It was easy to do with all the great food.

  9. Lentil Breakdown February 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    Those potato nests were fab even without the egg! And Oscar would’ve been Wilde about your twist on his quote!

    • CC February 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      I agree, Adair!

    • Cathy Arkle February 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      Yes they were. You could eat the baskets alone and be happy or fill them with other things. The possibilities are endless.

  10. CC February 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    Potato Palooza was purely potato joy! Loved this synopsis of the event and as usual your photos are incredibly beautiful! My theory is if someone says they don’t like potatoes, don’t trust them! Has to be something not right there! 🙂

    • Cathy Arkle February 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

      Thanks Christina. You can’t go wrong with potatoes.

  11. dvlwearsparsley February 19, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    These look great!!! I’m sad to have missed the event! <3

    • Cathy Arkle February 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

      Natalie, you would have loved it and we missed your beautiful face there.

  12. tobeginwithin January 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    What a fun event! and love the recipe, can’t wait to try it! Mwah!

    • Cathy Arkle January 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

      It was such a fun day. It is a fun and delicious recipe. Enjoy.


  1. Idaho Potatoes Through The Seasons – weekend recipes - June 21, 2015

    […] Idaho Hash Brown Baskets with Baked Quail Eggs, for May. This recipe and image are from Cathy Arkle of She Paused 4 Thought. Baskets make me think of spring. They are perfect for collecting eggs and gathering fresh herbs from the garden. Making potato hash brown baskets cooked with eggs and pesto is one my favorite potato recipes because it says Spring is here and we are ready to celebrate.  — Cathy […]

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    […] #5 | Idaho Potato Hash Brown Baskets […]

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