I started not to post this recipe, because everyone knows how to make it, right? Uh, well, no, I didn’t even know how to make it until several years ago! It’s fast and super simple. I usually make it as a fast breakfast or lunch for one. (Though, of course, you can make two; just use a much bigger pan.) If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you may know it by a different name: there are dozens of names for it. “Iggy in a blanket”, “Moses in a boat” and the list is seeming endless. The language podcast, A Way With Words, even did a segment on the myriad names, which got so many responses they did a follow-up segment. (Both links are short excerpts.) I like amphibians, so Toad In A Hole, is what it is to me. 🙂 I’d read mentions of it in books, but until several years ago when I was browsing a cookbook, none of the (fiction) books said how to make it.
I don’t do it quite like the cookbook said and there are probably many minute variations on how to do this, but the recipe is, essentially, egg and toast, so really, there’s a limit on how fussy you can be about technique and instructions. Here’s how I do it.
I put a generous amount of margarine in a non-stick pan. Turn the burner on medium-medium high. Then I cut, or tear, a hole in a slice of bread, approximately 2.5 inches in diameter. (I’ve got a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter, which I use to make rounds of anything I want round. LOL) What most people say to do is to spread both sides of the bread with margarine or butter, either before or after you cut the hole in it. I just lay the bread in the margarine and rub it in a bit and when the side is “buttered” I flip the bread over. (If it’s soaked up too much margarine you can always add more before the egg goes in.)
Then I crack an egg (I use Eggland’s Best) and gently drop it into the hole in the bread. The yolk may end up off center. (I’m not sure if this is a tendency of eggs or if my stove isn’t quite level.) If this bothers you, and you are really fast and patient, you can immediately (but gently) push the yolk toward the center with a finger and hold it there until the white has set just enough to hold it in place. I did this in order to get a good-looking picture for the post, but this is the only time my Toad In A Hole has ever not been lop-sided. 😉
Cook on one side until the egg is about half-cooked, according to how you like your eggs, then gently turn it over and cook the other side until it’s as done as you want. I can’t give you a time for this because there are too many variables: how hot your burner is, how firm or runny you want your eggs. It doesn’t take too long to cook. Traditionally, I think, the eggs are supposed to be runny. When you cut up the egg and toast into bites you can then sop up the yolk with the toasted bread. If you like your eggs cooked all the way through, no problem. Just cook them longer. You may have to turn them more than once and cook them longer on a slightly lower setting. It may take a few times before you get the timing down for your stove and heat. The main thing is that the bread should be toasted, but not burned. Salt and pepper as desired.
This is a very simple plain dish and rapidly became one of my go-to comfort foods. I usually cook the egg to the point where it isn’t runny. If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can sprinkle (or grate) parmesan or cheddar cheese over it. When I’m not using a my smallest skillet I also butter the little round of bread I’ve cut out, and toast it beside the egg, then put a small dollop of jam on it for a sweet finish to the light meal. And I typically have a pot of hot tea, too. 😀 I can’t explain why I find Toad In The Hole such a satisfying meal. Perhaps it’s the simplicity. Perhaps because it’s something that I do for myself, a small, single pleasure, rather than cooking for family or friends which is a different sort of pleasure. I only know that I wish someone had told me how to make it years before I finally stumbled onto a recipe. That’s why I wrote this post. Enjoy. 🙂