White House Chef Prepares Toad-in-the-Hole

toad 3Is there anyone who is not familiar with this dish?  On the Martha Stewart Show, Assistant White House Chef Sam Kass prepared “eggs in the hole.”  True it was with a bunch of kids, but, nevertheless, toads have made it to the White House!

How can you go wrong with an egg, good bread and butter?  Here, then, is the simplest cooked breakfast of them all–the well known (as it turns out) toad-in-the-hole.  My family prepared toad-in-the-hole countless times for a quick morning meal.  In researching the recipe, I discovered its considerable popularity, but I think mine is the most basic of all.  My take on the recipe is to make as little effort as possible while turning out a delicious breakfast.

toad 1

Break egg into hole.

It goes by many names: bullseye, pirate’s eggs, one-eyed jacks, hole-in-one, egg boat, eggs –in-a-frame, eggs in a basket, frogs on a log, one-eyed pirate, bunny in a basket and powder puff eggs.  Then there is the scene in the movie “Moon Over Miami” (1941) with Betty Grable, Don Ameche and Robert Cummings featuring Betty standing over a stove making “gas house eggs”.  More recently, Martin Crane  made “eggs in a nest”  for Frasier, title character of the popular sitcom.

Ingredients:

1 T butter, divided

One slice bread

One egg

Salt and pepper

Procedure:

Place 2 t butter in a non-stick skillet.  Gently tear a hole in the center of a piece of bread with your fingers.  (No need to dirty a knife or cookie cutter as some recipes call for.)  Place bread on melted butter.  When it begins to toast slightly, turn it over, place one teaspoon butter in hole and break egg into it.  Salt and pepper egg.

toads 2

Flip toad over.

As white of egg firms up, carefully turn bread to other side and fry another minute.  Remove to plate while yolk is still runny.  Don’t forget to fry the “hole”, too.  You’ll probably want to make two per person.

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Cranberry Walnut Muffins

muffin

Photo by Bill Brady

Here is a breakfast muffin worth waking up for.  Actually I think of them as anytime muffins.  Inhale them as they come out of the oven and you’ll want to bite into the soft cakelike crumb right away.

Need :  2 muffin tins (not mini)  Fill any unfilled cups halfway with water to prevent over browning of the muffins or warping of the pan. Makes 16 muffins. 

Ingredients

½ cup butter plus more for preparing muffin tins

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 t baking powder

¼ t salt

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

Zest from one orange

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup dried cranberries, steeped in hot water until plumped and then drained

Procedure

1. Butter muffin tins.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of wax paper and set aside.

3. In an electric stand mixer cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add one egg at a time.

4. Take mixer bowl off stand.  Fold in 1/3 of the flour at a time alternating with the sour cream.

5. Fold in orange zest, walnuts and lastly, cranberries.

6. Fill muffin tins two thirds full.

7. Place in middle of 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Check after 15 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

MuffinsDSCF8664

Blueberry Buckle

You may have tried blueberry muffins, crisps, cobblers, grunts (yes, grunts), pies and tarts, but how about a buckle?  A buckle not only shows off blueberries at their best but just about any mix of fresh berries. Cakelike under a firm and crispy crust, buckles make great breakfast treats.  Serve a buckle with whipped cream for dessert or as a tasty snack just about any time.

Blueberry Buckle

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9X13-inch baking pan

Ingredients

Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

½ t salt

½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 ½ t vanilla extract

2 cups fresh blueberries

Topping

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup quick rolled oats

½ t ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

4 T butter, cut into small cubes

½ chopped walnuts or pecans

Procedure

For cake:  Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar mixture in a mixer.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk and vanilla. Fold in the blueberries and pour the batter in to the baking pan.

For the topping: Combine all the ingredients with a pastry blender or fork until the butter forms pea-size lumps.  Sprinkle over top of cake.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool.  Run a knife around edge. Cut and serve.  Whipped cream makes a lovely addition.

Photo by Michael Kirigin

 

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