Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recipe for Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa

This recipe is my grown-up and diet-friendly version of what my mother called "Pop-Eye Eggs."

I had the kind of mother who always sent her kids to school with a hot breakfast in their tummies, even though she was cooking for twelve!  Most of the time it was an easy-to-make hot cereal like oatmeal, but sometimes mom would cook things like pancakes or French toast.  And when it was a very special breakfast, we'd have Pop-Eye Eggs.  We called them Pop-Eye Eggs because the yolk of the egg looked like an eye popping out, but eggs fried inside a hole cut in a piece of bread are called by a large variety of names including Toad in a Hole, Eggs in a Basket, Eggs in the Hole, Eggs in a Blanket, Bird's Nest Eggs, Cowboy Eggs, Bull's Eye Eggs, Gas House Eggs, and Sunshine Toast.  If your mom used to make something like this, I'd love to hear in the comments about what you called it.

When my mom made them, she'd melt butter in a pan, cut holes in the toast, and then fry the eggs and bread in the butter.  We'd use the crust and dip it into the "eye" to eat them, maybe with a little ketchup on the white part of the egg.  When I started making these for myself a few years ago they eventually evolved into the healthier version you see here, with the eggs and toast fried in olive oil.  I sprinkle them with a little low-fat cheese that melts over the egg, and then eat them with salsa drizzled over.  For South Beach Dieters, this is one of my favorite phase two breakfasts because you're not eating even one whole piece of bread, but one Pop-Eye Egg with cheese and Salsa is a filling breakfast for me.

Be sure not to cut the hole in the bread too big; I use a small juice glass that's about 2 1/4 inches across.

Heat a little olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan (cast iron is perfect), then toast the bread on one side until it's lightly browned, 2-3 minutes, then turn over.

Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil into the hole in each piece of bread, then gently break an egg into the hole.  Season eggs with salt and pepper if you want.

Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of low-fat cheese over each egg and cook covered for about 3-4 minutes, depending on how soft you want the yolk to be.

Eggs are done when the cheese is melted, white is firm, and yolk is a done as you like it.  I cook mine about 3 minutes for yolks that are still mostly soft but starting to firm on the edges.  Serve hot, with salsa to drizzle over if desired.


Pop-Eye Eggs with Cheese and Salsa
(Ingredients given are for two servings, recipe adapted by Kalyn with memories of Pop-Eye Eggs made by her mother.)

Ingredients:
1 tsp+ 1 tsp olive oil
2 pieces whole wheat bread (I use Jack Spratt Bread sprouted wheat bread.)
2 large eggs
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup low-fat grated cheese (I use Four Cheese Mexican Blend)
salsa for serving, optional but good

Instructions:
Have all ingredients ready on counter.  Use a small juice glass to cut a hole directly in the center of each piece of bread.  (I use a glass that's 2 1/4 inches across, and save the holes from the bread to make whole wheat bread crumbs.  You can also toast the holes and dip them in the egg.)  

Use a heavy frying pan large enough to hold both pieces of bread.  Heat the pan for about 30 seconds over medium heat, brushing the pan with 1 tsp. olive oil.  Add the pieces of bread and cook until one side is browned and toasted, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn pieces of bread over.

Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of oil into the center of each piece of bread and immediately break an egg into the hole, being careful not to break the egg.  Season eggs with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, then sprinkle each piece of bread with about 2 tablespoons of grated cheese.  Cover pan and cook until cheese is melted, egg white is firm, and yolks are as done as you'd like them, about 3-4 minutes.  (I cook mine for about 3 minutes in a cast iron pan for a slightly runny yolk.)

Serve hot, with salsa drizzled over if desired.



South Beach Suggestions: 
One of these eggs makes a great phase two breakfast for the South Beach Diet.  If you want, you could have something like Turkey Breakfast Sausage Links on the side.

More Bloggers Cook Eggs in a Hole:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Heart-Shaped Egg in a Nest from Pinch My Salt
Toad in a PattyPan Hole from A Veggie Venture
Egg-in-a-Hole from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Egg in a Hole Grilled Cheese from A Cozy Kitchen
French Toad in the Hole from The Amateur Gourmet
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

38 comments:

  1. Egg in a hole or egg in a basket - depends. Egg in a basket was a Girl Scout term, I believe - egg in a hole is what we were more likely to call it at home. And - we never had cheese on it.

    Cheese is a nice touch.

    I love cheese. :-)

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  2. I love these, but I make a fake Hollandaise that I found in Good Housekeeping (I think) cook book instead of salsa. I don't know how that would stack up on the South Beach Diet (I'm a calorie counter, but I love your recipes!) but I'll send it to you by e-mail and you can decide whether it works for SB or not. Either way, I've never sprinkled cheese on mine before-WILL NOW!

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  3. Denise, this goes with my belief that almost everything is better with cheese!

    Liz, some Hollandaise might work for SB, and I think it sounds delicious on this!

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  4. Looks yummy! My mom made them for me and called them ox eye eggs. So neat how they so many names for the same thing!

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  5. Kelly, that's definitely a new name for me.

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  6. Not very exciting, but my mother called them "hidden eggs" - she would fry up the cut-out circle and put that on top to "hide" it.

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  7. My dad was the breakfast cook in our family. He called these "spit in the ocean" -- a kind of naval reference, though he was an army guy. Thanks for reminding me how much fun these eggs are!

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  8. I'm loving hearing all the names I haven't heard before. And it's interesting how many parents seem to have made these for their kids.

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  9. Hey there!! I am from Brazil and LOVE to visit your blog and eventually try your recipes!! My fathers best friend family is from Polland and up there they call it Egyptian Sandwich!! I `ve been eating them since I was a kid!! U could also add some turkey breast slices on top of the cheese!

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  10. I like to make these whenever we have breakfast guests just to see what they call them! I grew up calling them Picture Window Eggs, my husband grew up calling them Hole in Ones and my kids have named them Circle Toast.
    We've never made them with cheese either, but it certainly couldn't hurt. :)

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  11. I am fascinated by the names, and also by hearing that even as far away as Poland people are making these.

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  12. This is one of my favorite breakfasts!

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  13. One eye jacks. One of my favorite breakfasts growing up. A couple years ago saw them on a menu at a diner in upstate New York, called one eye jacks. I ordered them. Delious.

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  14. isn't it funny what different parts of the country may call the same thing? we call them egg in the nest.

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  15. OK, I'm going to bet that no one else used the name we used. :D When my Mom first started making these she used a cookie cutter to take out the center. The cookie cutter was a dog. So, we called them doggies. :) Even when she later would use a glass to cut a circle rather than the cookie cutter, we still called them doggies. And, no doubt, if the subject came up today we would still call them doggies. LOL.

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  16. Bull's Eye Eggs!! Love your recipes Kalyn - you are my favorite food blogger!

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  17. this sounds like such an excellent way to start the day! I love an egg for breakfast and cheese and toast are never unwelcome additions.

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  18. The names are so interesting. And I'm picturing Nancy's mom using a dog cookie cutter to cut out the inside of the bread!

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  19. These look great! My husband I I make them, and we call them Moonstruck Eggs because in the movie Moonstruck, Cher's mom cooks them. We do them Italian style like the movie with roasted red peppers.

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  20. Kalyn, we call them "Breakfast in Bread" - thanks for posting them, I was looking for something tasty for lunch today!
    ~Kris

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  21. This comment from Nancy525 was on the wrong post, so I'm copying it here for her:

    Here's another name for you, my Mom called this combination Toad in the Hole. I'm not sure why, but that's what I called them when I made them for my kids. Thank you for posting an old favorite! I agree with the previous post, cheese is a super idea.

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  22. I had completely forgotten that in Moonstruck, but love the idea of roasted red peppers with this.

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  23. Call us weird, but Mom never made these. I didn't have my first until my Girl Scout bestie made them after a sleep over.


    I don't deny my kids; we have them every so often -- but they are definately Toad In The Hole around here. I like to freak out the little ones I do child care for, too.

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  24. We called them eggs in a frame - and loved them just the same! I believe it was one of the first recipes I learned how to cook!

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  25. Cara, the different names just keep coming!

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  26. We didn't really have these growing up, but friends of the family made them for special occasions. They called them Egg-a-toast. Maybe it was egg o'toast. It came out like eggatoast, so who knows. I want to make these for me and my kids. I think I'll put it up to them to decide what they're called.

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  27. Amanda, that will be fun to see what your kids decide to call them!

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  28. My mom used to make these for us, minus the cheese and we called them Bulls eye eggs I believe. I love alot of your recipes here and have use many of them.

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  29. Bulls-Eye Eggs kind of reminds me of our name for them. So glad you're enjoying the recipes!

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  30. Can you believe I've never eaten one of these. Your version sounds like a must try.

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  31. Barbara, you have been deprived! Seriously, I do love them for breakfast.

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  32. My grandma taught me to make these when I was young. She called them One-Eyed Egyptians. =)

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  33. We always called those eggs "egg in the hole" but my friend calls them "one eyed jacks" which I think is way cuter!!

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  34. We used to call them "Humpty-Dumpty splats."

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  35. Now that might be the cutest name yet!

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