I call this my back pocket or emergency dinner. It relies on items that are always in my fridge or pantry…eggs, some sort of white liquid, bread and some sort of cheese. I’ve added some asparagus here but a simple green salad would be welcome as well.
But, it’s also the perfect Sunday night dinner after a busy weekend or a long afternoon walk. It’s a cozy dinner. Something that will sit lightly on your tummy for a good nights sleep. Start a fire and sit in front of it to eat, or watch the rain (or snow) outside your window and be thankful for your own dry snug home.
A dense country style loaf is best, sliced thickly. But if you, like me, only have a pre-sliced sourdough loaf on hand, it will work just fine. In that case, don’t leave the bread soaking in the egg for too long or it will dissolve.
For the eggy/milk soaking use anything you have on hand. Cow, goat, nut, oak milk all work. Only have half and half? Go for it. Coconut creamer…sounds good to me.
This a ‘toad-in-the-hole’ idea with eggs. If you are not familiar with ‘toad-in-the-hole’, it’s usually made with sausages and a popover (or Yorkshire pudding) batter. The sausages peek out of the batter which puffs up around them. Personally I don’t think they look much like toads.
This would be a great brunch dish as well as dinner, it’s quick to assemble and is mostly hands off.
This will serve 2 people with 2 eggs each, 4 if you only want 1 egg. Choose bread slices from the middle of the loaf. With larger slices you may be able to put 2 eggs in each bread slice.
- 2 to 4 slices of country style bread such as sourdough from the middle of the loaf
- 5 eggs, 1 for the soaking and 4 to bake
- 1/3 cup of milk of some kind
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan or some other grated cheese, I used cheddar
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 cup cheese for topping
- Salt and pepper
- 1 scallion (optional for garnish), sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and grease it lightly with olive oil
- In a large shallow dish, whisk together the egg, 1/3 cup milk, melted butter, and 1/4 cup parmesan with a large pinch of salt and a grind of pepper
- Soak the bread in the mixture, soaking each side. The bread should be soft and soaked through but not falling apart. The length of time will depend on the thickness of your slices and the type of bread.
- Arrange the soaked bread on the baking sheet, pouring any remaining soaking liquid over them. Using a small juice glass or cookie cutter, carefully cut 1 or 2 (2 1/2 inch) holes in each slice of soaked bread. Place the cut out rounds on the cookie sheet beside the bread slices.
- Place the sheet in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the bread is starting to turn golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and flip the bread slices and hole lids.
- Crack an egg into each hole and sprinkle with cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Bake another 5 to 7 minutes until the eggs are barely set (they will continue to cook on the hot pan). If the egg whites are still translucent, bake them for another minute or two.
- To serve, place the egg toasts on places, top each toast with its lid and garnish with the scallion.
You can roast asparagus on the other end of the sheet pan as I did. It does somewhat defeat the empty larder concept though.
To do so simply trim enough for 2 people, toss with a little olive oil, and place the stalks on the other end of the sheet pan when the bread slices go into the oven. Sprinkle with salt. If the stalks are cooked after the first 10 minutes you can remove them to a warm plate until the eggs are cooked.
Broccolini could be cooked in the same way. Or a bunch of scallions, trimmed but left whole.
A lovely glass of wine elevates this even further.
I think I am going to mosey over to Fiesta Friday #450. I think Angie and the gang might like to have this in their back pocket as well.