To your left you see what is called, “egg in a basket” or “egg in a hole”. I have added this to our week day breakfast menu as a deliciously simple and quick meal for my spouse. He really enjoys it and so do I as it is easy to do when you’re not quite awake. I also find that if you use a nice whole grain bread it tastes wonderful toasted or grilled. You also want to be sure to toast the little bit you cut out of the center of the bread.
A variation I will try next time is this. As you crack the egg and begin to let the white part fall into the hole, stop it just long enough to place a small bit of sharp cheese, either an aged cheddar or some nice blue cheese into the hole, then let the rest of the egg drop. This way, the eater will get some nice melted cheese and flavor in the center of the egg. What a nice little surprise! Be sure to let the cheese come to room temperature before starting the dish.
- Heat pan to a medium setting – my stove runs a bit hot, so I do a medium low.
- Cut a hole in the very center of the bread.
- Butter both sides of the bread including the bit you cut out.
- Place bread in pan and break one egg into the center hole. Be sure to put your cut out bit in the pan as well to toast it.
- Let it toast until nicely brown and then flip. (hint here – if egg is not cooking quickly enough, give it a quick steam with a few drops of water and a lid, then flip. Don’t steam too long or it gets soggy.)
- Flip to other side (don’t forget your little center bit to flip as well) Remember this side will not take as long to cook. You can serve with a one or two thin slices of smoked ham or “Canadian Bacon”. As a side note, I’ve never seen Canadian bacon here in Canada.
Also, I tried to find a more definitive history of this simple dish and could not find anything just yet. Once I do, I’ll write about it again – but for now, just enjoy a simple and fairly healthy breakfast.
The history of “toad in the hole” is a bit easier: It derives from the British and was first made with bits of left over meat. May have been why it got a bad rep. 1) It was a way for the poor to make food stretch, 2) Sometimes left over bits of meat were not always the tastiest bits.
It is thought that the use of the sausage came about as the more affluent people started to eat the dish. They could well afford a nice sausage. It is a basic Yorkshire pudding with sausage and a bit of gravy drizzeled on top when served.