|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.
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.)
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
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.)