My father was a man of few words … and even fewer in his repertoire of food preferences. Father Abe was a meat and potato man. And it seemed that early on in my parents’ marriage, it was he who determined that the evening meal would contain just that …no fancy stuff. Growing up as an aspiring wanna-be cook, I was sometimes frustrated by being relegated to just making the regular fare. Along with being absorbed by the endearing misadventures of Anne of Green Gables and the mysterious entanglements of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, I immersed myself in cookbooks and became acquainted with what the outside world of food was doing while I was stuck with meat loaf and pork chops. I really wanted to try my hand at creating the intriguing ideas that graced the pages of these cookbooks. But I was resigned to the understanding that fettucine alfredo, coq au vin, and jerk chicken would never feel a warm welcome at our table.
Father Abe was also an egg man. With the same ardour that he ruled about meat and potatoes, my mom ruled about his weekly egg allowance. And it was sparse. So, I calculated that if I was ever to convince him that there was more to the culinary world than meat and potatoes, it would be through eggs. On a weekend home from university, I decided to take a courageous leap and make Egg-in-a-Hole for our noon meal …no request for permission, no advance warning, no hints … just ‘Lunch is ready’. Before he could protest, the aroma and the visage of his beloved egg nestled within a perfectly toasted piece of mom’s homemade bread won him over. And, for the first time, we had a discussion (brief) about my interest in cooking new things …and he questioned me about how I had learned to make this wonderful creation …and he wondered if I would make this for him again …or maybe I could teach mom how to do it …
This is such a simple way to experience a celebration at breakfast! The warm glow of the golden toast, the sunny yellow yolk cheerfully pooling onto your plate, the greeting of the sprinkling of fresh parsley… it looks like you fussed for hours. It is important to choose a hearty or rustic bread …sourdough works well … and that the slices are at least one inch thick in order to sufficiently house most of the egg. It is also helpful if the eggs are at room temperature. And don’t neglect the hole! Ensure that you toast it along with the egg so that you have a handy dipper for the yolk.
In father Abe’s vernacular, “It’s good!”
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Number of Servings: 2
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 thick slices of hearty rustic bread (sourdough), sliced at least 1 inch thick
Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Koser salt and freshly ground pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Lightly spread both sides of the bread slices with soft butter.
- With a 2-inch cookie cutter, make a hole in the center of each slice of bread.
- Pre-heat large saute pan (medium heat).
- Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in the hot pan.
- Place two pieces of buttered bread in the pan. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add a little extra butter (1/2 teaspoon) in the hole to ensure that the egg will not stick.
- Crack an egg into each hole. Alternatively, crack the egg in a small bowl to facilitate the process of getting the yolk into the hole.
- Add the buttered centers to the pan.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Very carefully, flip to the other side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for an additional 2 minutes, or until the egg is done to your liking.
- Remove from pan; garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Keep warm while you cook the remaining two eggs.