Valentine’s Day is coming up! There’s a million names for fried eggs in toast – Eggs in a Basket / Eggs in a Hole / Eggs in a Nest / Bird’s Nest / Toad in the Hole / Bullseye / Moon over Miami – but no matter what you call it, it’s a fun way to show your love.
Each person in my family has a very specific preference for how to eat eggs – fried, scrambled, runny yolk, solid yolk, with rice, with bread, with ketchup, whites only, etc. My favorite is, of course, fried. Personally runny yolks are my pet peeve; gotta have them cooked all the way. B, in the other hand, likes to poke his and watch the yolk flow away.
I saw this somewhere and thought this was the cutest idea. It was surprisingly tricky to get it done perfectly. Flipping the whole thing makes it messy because the yolks burst, and it’s not pretty anymore. Cooking without flipping risks burning the toast before the egg is done. Toasting the bread prior makes it hard so the egg flows out underneath if the pan’s not perfectly flat. And the biggest fail was trying to pour egg white from a carton – those whites were way too runny and flowed underneath out of the bread hole faster than you can say “rats!”
In frustration, I wanted to jab the center of the failed eggy hearts (I never claimed I wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon, right?).
But after many, many Eggs in a Basket trials, I think I’ve got it figured it out. The trick – fry only one side of the bread so the second side cooks right along with the egg.
Fun medical fact: In pathology there’s quite a few cancers whose cells are classically described as “fried egg” – oligodendriomas (a brain tumor), multiple myeloma plasma cells (a bone marrow cancer) and seminomas /dysgerminomas (testicular/ovarian cancers).
Hey, I’m studying for my medical boards – gotta justify why I spent all morning frying and popping eggs instead of reading.
cooking spray or butter
1 slice of bread
pinch of paprika and pepper
shredded cheddar cheese, to garnish
basil, to garnish
Cut your heart or whatever shape in the middle of the bread using a cookie cutter or knife (as I did).
Add butter or cooking spray to a frying pan on medium. Fry the bread (and the cut out piece) in the pan until golden brown. Flip the bread over. Carefully crack the egg inside and fry the egg for an additional minute or two, until the egg whites are fully cooked.
Some recipes brown both sides of the toast before cracking the egg, but I only cook one side first so you can fry the egg longer without burning the bottom (this way, you don’t have to flip the whole thing, keeping the yolk pretty).
You can flip the entire Egg in a Basket to cook the yolk a bit more. Lift the edge of the bread up with a spatula to make sure the egg has solidified and set into the toast. Add cooking spray / butter as needed and gently flip it over. Careful not to pop the egg yolk!
Top the egg with paprika, pepper, cheese, and basil. Slide on to a plate and serve with some avocado slices. Enjoy!
Note: Another option a friend mentioned is to cook on one side on a skillet, then hold in the oven under the broiler for a minute to cook the top without flipping. Genius!