Egg and Cheese Hash Brown Nests

2 russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 medium eggs 

1. Generously grease a muffin tin and set aside. Using a box grater, shred the potatoes and transfer them to a bowl; sprinkle with the kosher salt and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Gather the potatoes in the center of a cheese cloth (or a bed of paper towels) and wring the potatoes dry, removing the excess water. There will be quite a bit! 

2. Transfer the dried, shredded potato back to the bowl and add the shallot, garlic, pepper and paprika. Mix until combined. 

3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture into each muffin cup, being sure to line the bottom and the sides. Since the potatoes will shrink when baked, make sure you go all the way to the top of the muffin tin when lining the sides. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and until the outer sides appear lightly golden brown. 

4. Decrease oven to 350F. Remove from oven. In the center of each hash brown nest, add a teaspoon of grated cheese, and then top with one egg. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, and until whites are set, but yolks still appear soft. 

5. Allow to cool for 2 minutes in pan. Using a butter knife, run it around the edges of each hash brown nest and gently remove it. Top with remaining freshly ground pepper and serve immediately. 
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