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Then there was an egg

March 9, 2011

It’s finally spring break.  I’m finally reading the books that I bought a month ago but never opened.  I’m finally lazing around in my pajamas til noon.  I’m finally able to breathe like a normal person again, for now at least.  It’s been wonderfully relaxing and well-needed.  But sadly, by the end of this week, not only do I have to pack up my fresh clean clothes and head back to the dorm, but I may even have to apologize to the kitchen.  You see, I’ve thoroughly taken advantage of it.

Yes, the kitchen does get a good clean every night but for the most part, I’m the winner in our non-reciprocity relationship.  I get to cook.  I get to eat.  We’ve been having some good times though these last few days.  Last night we produced a very flavorful Italian sausage, chard, and bean soup.  The night before was an awesome improv Asian green bean and orange quinoa salad.  Right now we’re in the process of brioche burger buns to hold some lovely local grass-fed beef my mom and I picked up on our mini road trip last weekend.  Me and the kitchen – we really are close.  So close we’ve even agreed to never again talk about the sweet potato mole and polenta that we attempted on Sunday.

But actually one of our best times together this past week was during dinner as we pondered what to do with a small bit of a bread loaf I brought home from school.  It was a fend-for-yourself sort of night and I wasn’t too hungry, but bread wasn’t enough.  As I scanned the refrigerator contents my eyes fell on the eggs, the amazing fresh ones that my uncle sent over.  I think these particular eggs had emerged from his hens just two days previously. Eggs and toast – there’s a start.  But could I make it better?  I decided yes.  A little light bulb went off in my head, urging me to finally have a go at this trick I saw in a cookbook a while back, a little dish called Egg in the Hole.

All it took was a slice of bread with a hole in the middle, an egg, butter, and seasoning.  Yet I became overwhelmingly excited, especially when it actually turned out right the first time. There on my plate sat a crispy, lightly buttery slab of toast with a perfectly circular egg tucked inside.  The egg was just cooked so that the white sealed the inside, the runny and hot yolk that, once cut into, spread out in a pool underneath for the surrounding bread to soak up.  I know I could have easily just fried an egg and plopped it on toast, but it wouldn’t have been the same.  Egg in the Hole lets the toast pick up the butter in the pan, lets it get crispy in a way that plain ole’ toast in the toaster can’t.  And it stayed contained in such a nice and neat package that I could eat it daintily in little wedges, each forkful including all three essential parts of its goodness.  Yeah it takes a little extra effort but just think of how special you can make someone (or yourself) feel by serving them Egg in the Hole. Breakfast food cooked with care, even if it is for dinner.

A word of note.  I think this would only work with REALLY fresh eggs because they hold together so well and stay really nice and contained in the hole.  An old egg would run all over the place and make a mess.  So if you have old eggs, this dish isn’t worth the trouble.  I’ve you’re lucky enough to get really fresh ones, however, make this.  Now.

Egg in the Hole

1 piece of thick bread, any variety will do
1 very fresh egg
salt and pepper

Place your bread in the toaster and cook it ever so slightly until it just gets a little brown and it is hot enough to melt butter.  Right after you take it out of the toaster, butter both sides.  Then using a narrow glass (I used a mojito glass) or a small circular cookie cutter (about 2.5 inches in diameter) punch out a hole in the middle of the toast.  You can either eat this extra toast now to satiate any pre-meal hunger pangs or, if you can, save it to mop up any extra yolk drippings on your plate.

While this is all happening, heat a pan on medium to medium-low heat and melt a pat of butter.  Once melted, set the toast in the pan for about a minute to let a pool of concentrated heat gather in the circle.  Then crack the egg right in the circle.  Salt and pepper the top.  Let it do its thing for about 2 minutes or until you can see that the bottom half of the egg white is just about cooked.  Then you can slightly nudge the toast and if it moves easily, you are in the clear to go ahead and flip the toast without worrying about breaking the white underneath.  Flip quickly, season the other side, and if you’d like, add a bit more butter to the pan to crisp up the underside more.  Cook at least another minute for a runny yolk, but longer if you like a firmer yolk, whatever your preference. Egg in the Hole isn’t too worried about perfection.

Once done, slide onto a plate and eat immediately, while the egg is piping hot, in whatever fashion you desire.  After you’ve finished, sit back, and smile.  Your kitchen will thank you for putting it to such good use.

One Comment leave one →


  1. Brioche Burger Buns «

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