Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket

The other day, my brother and I were talking about fish sandwiches. (Weird opening sentence, I know.) He informed me that the café where he works serves a sandwich called the Son of Salmon, to which I replied, “. . . wait, what?!” I spent the next hour brainstorming sandwich names for my future food cart, Killer Sandwiches. The ToasTed Bundy. The Jarls Manson. (Should I be concerned by how much this amuses me?) Anyway, I tried to come up with a similarly-themed name for this sandwich, because “egg in the basket” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. And also because I need to counterbalance the lameness I’ve created by doing two Valentine’s Day posts in a row. Alas, I’ve got nothing. (Only so much time can be spent pondering serial killer-themed names before it becomes undeniably disturbing.) So if anyone has suggestions, I’m open to them! Until then, Egg in the Basket it is.

Traditionally, the way to make this is to assemble the sandwich, cut out the center, then crack an egg into the middle once you begin grilling. This leads to a somewhat indiscernible fried egg blob in the middle of the sandwich (and, if you’re not careful, a broken egg yolk). My solution was to grill the sandwich on one side, then cut out the center, flip the sandwich, add the egg, and cook it sunny side up. This method, however, comes with its own set of problems. The main issue: too much egg white. For me, the excess white meant having to cook the egg for a long time, and resulted in a very burnt sandwich bottom. To solve this, I would suggest separating the white from the yolk, adding just enough to cover the surface area of the hole, then adding the yolk. This should yield a properly-cooked egg and an unburnt sandwich. Alternatively, if you use a cookie cutter to cut out the center, you could grill the sandwich normally, cut out the middle, then place the cookie cutter in the pan, crack the egg inside it, and place it in the center of the sandwich when it’s finished. The egg won’t be one with the sandwich, but it will save you from burnt sandwich/uncooked egg anxieties.

Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket

The ingredients are pretty self-explanatory and customizable, so I’m not going to bother listing them. I made mine with cheddar and fig jam, and you can throw in whatever you (or, more accurately, the lucky recipient) would like. I was definitely jonesing for some ham with this. You can’t go wrong with ham, egg, and cheese!

Assemble your sandwich, then butter one side of the bread. Separate the egg white and yolk into two bowls. Place the sandwich, buttered-side-down, in a pan over medium heat and grill until golden brown, then remove.

Butter the uncooked side of the sandwich. Using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the center. Lower the heat slightly, then return both pieces of the sandwich to the pan, uncooked-side-down. Add just enough egg white to fill the bottom of the empty sandwich center, then carefully slip the egg yolk into the center.

Cover the pan (this will help the egg cook quicker and melt the cheese) and let everything cook for a couple minutes, checking regularly after one minute to make sure nothing is burning. Once the egg appears to be cooked, immediately remove the sandwich and serve!

Comments

  1. Jo says

    If you’re going with the serial killer theme, you could borrow from Silence of the Lambs and call it “It Puts the Egg in the Basket.”

    • says

      I actually looked up this dish on wikipedia because I was curious about its origins, and I was shocked by how many different names there are for it!

  2. Ruby says

    Great photos! :) My husband’s dad used to always make something similar to this for him and his brothers, growing up. They’d call it a “bullseye” within their family (because their cutout was a circle, so it looked like a bullseye with the yolk, whites, then bread). On our anniversary last year I made one for him using a heart cutter too..! He loved it. I told him that Cupid shot the bullseye. But I think a cute name for this, if you want to keep it Valentine’s themed, could be “Cupid’s target.”

    Anyway, I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Anastasia says

    I call them Eggy Toast! Rolls off the tongue a little better. They are also my and my boyfriends go to Sunday breakfast. Love the idea of adding the heart mold.

  4. Maggie B says

    I may be a little daft, but a few questions I have:

    It is a sandwich, so it’s two slices of bread? And then you cut out the center with a heart? Do you put the cutter all the way through both slices of bread?

    Looks adorable, can’t wait to try it :)

  5. Sophie says

    I wonder if you can bake this? I make something for my kids we call ‘Dippy Eggs’. I butter one side of bread and cut out a shape with a cookie cutter. Put the bread and shape on a cookie sheet, butter side up. Crack an egg in the ‘hole ‘ and bake at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes. The white will cook nicely and the yolk has just enough runniness to dip the cut out into. It’s delish!

    • says

      What a great idea! I have been meaning to attempt various baked egg dishes for the past couple years (I literally have 4 different recipes bookmarked), but I rarely make breakfast for anyone besides myself and it’s almost always a rushed process. Thank you, Sophie—this is more motivation for me to give the baked egg a go!

  6. Michelle says

    I did a Valentines day test run today while my boyfriend was out of town at work, and it went great except that when I cut out the heart, it didn’t make a clean line. Should I cut out from the newly buttered, uncooked side or the already baked side to minimize the blurry heart shape? It looked not

    So much like a heart but a blob with a pointy end haha… Guess that’s what a test run is for!

    Thanks!!! I LOVE this idea!

    • says

      Whoops! Sorry, Michelle—I just realized I’m losing my mind and had responded to you as if this was a question about the ravioli I made previously, not the egg in the basket! Anyway, I would suggest using your cookie cutter as a template of sorts by placing it on top of the toast, then cutting out the heart shape with a sharp knife, but making the indent on top a bit more pronounced. (I actually used this same method because my cookie cutter was a little too large for the bread. I hope this helps. :)

  7. says

    I found your blog from Foodgawker and I just love this idea. What a simple and sweet treat! I also love the ceramics you used in these photos, a really nice touch.

  8. Stacey says

    Thank you for posting this. Growing up we always ate “eggs in a basket” for special breakfast days. So last year for Feb 14 I wanted to do this idea for my family and it went horribly wrong. Your tips are so wonderful that I will give it a try again this yr!!!

    • says

      Glad to hear it, Stacey! I made this last year for the boyfriend and it gave me a lot of trouble, but he was so pleased I don’t think he even noticed. :) This year was still a little bit of a learning process, but I think I’ve figured out most of the tricks. Good luck!

  9. RDP says

    Looks awesome!

    Just wanted to add the we have always called it an “Egg in the Nest”.

    We just used one piece of toast though, not a whole sandwich. I’m going to try this out!

    Grilled cheese sandwiches and eggs are two of my favourite things!

    • says

      I absolutely love that there are so many different names for this dish! I am also intrigued by the single slice of toast version, as it seems perfect for those days when I’m feeling a little lazy. :)

  10. Stacey Apple says

    I love this b-fast so much! When I was really little my dad used to make these for me and my sister! It actually happens that one morning while making these I spoke some of my very first words as a young babe and said “love egg”. To this day my whole family calls me love egg or eggy!!!

  11. says

    This is pretty funny because I used to daydream about having a breakfast joint that serves many varieties of eggs in the baskets. My favorite thing is to take your typical egg in the basket and then smother the top with goat cheese, pesto, and smoked salmon.

  12. Stephanie says

    Saw this on pinterest. Very cute! I have an idea for you to work with: The Saint Valentine’s Day massacre (Capone, in Chicago). Google it…. not sure what you would call the sandwich but it is a place to start. Stabbing the egg yoke and all! Thanks for sharing your great ideas ;)

    Stephanie

    • says

      That one actually popped into my head after I’d been pondering the name for a while, but by that time I was so tired of thinking that I couldn’t even bring myself to put more thought into it! I can be terribly lazy sometimes. :P

  13. sam says

    Just thought I’d let you know that there’s a similar thing called Toad in a Hole which is a hole cut out of a slice of toast, with the egg in the middle (: They chuck ham and cheese on it too (: Hopefully this may help with the naming of your dish.

    Love the idea! (:

  14. MollyMcMom says

    I make this for my kids every year on the first day of school (and of course randomly anytime). We call it “humpty dumpty eggs”

    • says

      I’ve heard so many people say that their family made these when they were growing up and/or they make them for their kids nowadays. I love how universal it is!

  15. says

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I made a similar version of this (though i know yours is already super simple) yesterday, it came out so pretty. My husband loved it. my son loved it.

    you are more than welcome to come over to my blog to check it out!

    cheers!

  16. Amber says

    Love the pics! We call it a “bird’s nest” in our family :) We also do the oven version most often, or use just one slice of bread and crack the egg in it to cook in the pan. Love your blog in general too :)

  17. Lexi says

    Monterrey Jack the Ripper

    Sirham Sirham

    Lean Turkey Oswald

    RoasTed Kaczynski

    Croaked Monsieur

    Jeffrey Edammer

    Jimmy Hoffabrau Sausage

    There…you almost have a full truck load of death!

  18. Crystal says

    I made these for the kids this morning, and at first they were like thanks for the toast. Until they all looked down and one after one they were all like WOW! Mom this is so cool, how did u do this!! This is the best valentines day EVER! They went off to school very happy! Thanks for this idea

  19. says

    I love the heart shape hole, it’s so cute! wonderful pictures as well. I included a link to this post on my new site called egginabasket.com on the ‘Variations’ page.

    Check it out when you get a chnance, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you like egg in a basket :D

  20. Bev says

    My husband’s family always called these “One Eyed Pete’s”. Not sure where that name came from but my kids loved these. The heart shape is an added benefit.

  21. Valerie says

    I can’t wait to try this with a pumpkin for halloween and a leave for fall. Then there’s Christmas. :) Thank you for posting this.

  22. says

    Hi! I stumbled onto your blog and I am LOVING it! In fact I loved your heart-shaped egg in the basket recipe so much that I featured it on my blog’s ” Top 15 Valentine’s Day Treats”. We eat egg in the basket all the time, but I never would have thought to use a cute shape! Anyways If you’d like to check out the post you can find it here:

    http://nickieslittlebubble.blogspot.com/2014/01/top-15-best-valentines-day-treats-2014.html

    Happy Weekend!

  23. Jennifer says

    My mom made me this as a child except my mom used a glass to form a hole. We called it frog in the hole. It is now one of my kids favourites. We put maple syrup all over it just as my mother did ..including the toasty hole ..in your case the heart. Then you dip the toasty bits in the yolk…it’s so good.

  24. marie says

    The idea is great! My hubby is addicted to eggs and sandwichs of any kind thx. by the way might call it tell tell heart. like the poe poem

  25. Jenelle says

    My dad use to call these one eyed monsters. He used a circle cut out, but that’s what I’ve been calling them since I was a little girl. Thanks for the great idea, I’m making these this morning for my family. <3

  26. J. Rose says

    I am 67 going on 28, & have been eating these all of my life. A staple at home, & with my own family. We’ve always called them “Eggs in Toast.” It’s simple & to the point.

    I’ve always eaten them with one piece of bread & one egg, usually having two per meal.

    On a cutting board, butter the first side of the bread, then add a little bit of butter to the rim of the cutter (from the bread or with your finger).

    Press onto bread slice firmly, but gently, then move the cutter in the bread around gently on the cutting board. Works every time.

    I heat my iron skillet on medium heat (electric stove), butter & cook one side of the buttered bread to a golden brown. (An electric skillet can be used also, at about 350 degrees, then turned down to 300 degrees just before adding eggs.)

    When the first side is done, I turn the bread over, butter the other side, turn the heat down to low, add the eggs (eggs are better cooked very slowly), put a glass lid on the skillet & watch. (If you don’t have a glass lid, such as an electric skillet, time them for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how well cooked you like your eggs. You don’t have to lid the toast, just check it until done.)

    When the whites are firm, & the yolks are still a bit runny, I check the bottom of the toast to make sure it is golden brown. (If it isn’t I let it cook one more minute.)

    Serve immediately.

    Notes:

    Add salt & pepper to taste. (I don’t use salt or pepper. The butter adds the saltiness, & pepper doesn’t agree with me.)

    Sometimes, when I crave bacon & cheese, I sprinkle cooked bacon & shredded cheese over the eggs & toast, so that the cheese melts just before they are done.

    Enjoy your Eggs in Toast!

Trackbacks

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