Fried Egg and Cremini Mushrooms over Hash Browns, with Pesto

This was the first meal I made after I stopped being vegan. The first eggs I’d eaten in two years. They came from Alexander Family Farm in Del Valle, Texas, and I bought a dozen of them at Wheatsville. What you see in the photograph above were the best eggs I have ever eaten.

For the hash browns
2 small potatoes
1 Tbsp butter
~1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

For the pesto
1 cup loose fresh basil
1/4 cup crumbled pecans
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the eggs
2 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. As butter melts, grate potatoes and place on paper towels to dry. Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms briefly until they are cooked through but not browned; set aside.

2. Spread grated potatoes out in pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until edges begin to turn golden brown.

3. Flip potatoes over as best you can. If you do not have a perfect potato “cake,” that’s okay; just continue to stir them so that they will brown.

4. Meanwhile, combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and mix thoroughly to achieve a finely ground pesto. Set aside.

5. Once hash browns are cooked, set them aside on paper towels to absorb some excess grease. Lower the heat to medium. Cook the eggs until the whites appear to have solidified, about four to five minutes. Flip eggs and cook on reverse side for a further two minutes or so, until eggs are solid but not browned at all.

6. Add more butter to the pan if necessary and crack each egg carefully into it.

7. Spoon your hash browns out onto a plate. Slide your fried eggs on top of the potatoes. Garnish with extra grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Top with mushrooms and pesto and serve immediately.

Serves one.

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