One-Eyed Sandwiches

By • November 9, 2010 • 22 Comments



Author Notes: Although they go by many other names -- egg in the basket, egg-in-the-hole, bird's nest, to name a few -- in our house we called them "one-eyed sandwiches," and the technique originated with my grandfather. I'm biased, to be sure, but there are a few small details that I think really make Grandpa's egg sandwiches better than all the other versions out there. The first is the use of white bread. (Believe me, I love grainy, wheaty bread as much as the next person, but for these sandwiches, white bread is the way to go.) Grandpa always preferred Pepperidge Farm, which has a bit of sweetness to it. Another key step is toasting the bread before you fry it. This ensures that it's nice and crisp, which makes a nice counterpart to the salty, soft-cooked egg. Last but not least, Grandpa never threw away the little rounds of toast but instead fried them along with the sandwiches, and these then became little lids for the "eyes" at the end. My sister and I always saved these for last, as a final crisp, buttery treat. I'm guessing that any small people who happen to be at your house for breakfast will do the same.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 2

  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 large eggs, preferably free-range and/or organic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Lightly toast the bread and butter both sides with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Using a 1 1/2" round biscuit cutter (or a shot glass), cut a circle out of the middle of each slice of bread. Do not throw away the circles!
  2. In a medium, nonstick skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. When it starts foaming, add the toast slices and the little toast rounds and cook for a minute or two on each side, until nice and golden. Push the little rounds to one side of the pan, and then gently crack an egg into the hole of each slice of toast. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the white has set around the sides of the sandwich, and then gently flip and cook the other side for another minute or so, until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still nice and runny. Put each sandwich on a plate, top with the crispy little toast rounds, and serve immediately with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Jump to Comments (22)

Tags: breakfast, savory

Comments (22) Questions (0)

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17 days ago Sandi

I never even looked at this recipe, because I've been eating/making it for years - my Dad called it "Chicken on the Roof" (for the person below that "collects the different names") I'm not sure why I looked just now, but I'm so glad I did! It solved a big problem I've always had - the yolk gets too cooked waiting for the bread to toast in the pan. I never thought to TOAST THE BREAD FIRST!! Duhhh... Another "Genius" recipe? I say "YES!"

Stringio

7 months ago carroll

In Omaha, some 60 years ago, we called these Bird Nests. I've made them for my kids and then, my grandkids...

Stringio

12 months ago Pork n' Tofu

My husband calls them "Russian Hotel Eggs" and our friend calls them "cowboy eggs." We love to collect the different names for this amazing dish!

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12 months ago Rebecca

Ha, these are toad holes.

Flower-bee

over 1 year ago Droplet

I was leafing through a 30 years old cookbook recently and the recipe called for putting a whole peppercorn in the center of the yolk once it begins to set...somebody took their one-eyed sandwiches very seriously :)

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almost 2 years ago dawnek

I ate my fair share of these growing up, my dad, a former marine mess hall cook, called these elephant eyes.

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about 2 years ago latinacocina

My little sister always called them "egg with a hole in the middle"!! Doesn't really make sense when you think about it, but she was 4, and it stuck.

Becky

about 2 years ago rpenovich

My sister-in-law in England calls these Toad-in-the-Hole like Msveedub above. My 10-year-old craves the buttery, griddled bread and we can always entice him to eat an egg if it's Toad-in-the-Hole. Although he always eats the "bread circle" first. Merrill, I don't how you and sister could resist and save it til the end. :)

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over 2 years ago jumpinjavelina

Ours were One Eyed Jacks - like the Brando movie!

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over 2 years ago bgardner

Our family always called these "Eggs in a basket" LOL

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over 2 years ago bgardner

Our family always called these "Eggs in a basket" LOL

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over 2 years ago Lyn Fenton

Berkeley in the fifties we called them Shanghai eggs ..... and the little rounds were the best part!

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over 2 years ago Lyn Fenton

Berkeley in the fifties we called them Shanghai eggs ..... and the little rounds were the best part!

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over 2 years ago jose ramon

My kids love when I make this for them, I call them " Moon over Miami. " and we use the circle " moon" to dip into the yolk.

Mcs

over 2 years ago mcs3000

I make it the same way - mmm. Have you also had the one by 'ino (truffled egg toast) in New York? Amanda wrote about it in Cooking for Mr. Latte. Worth a trip just for that.

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over 2 years ago Amanda.b

mmm, I just had to make these as soon as I saw the recipe. So simple and so satisfying!

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almost 3 years ago whmcdevitt

funny, all these different names......my dad made them for my brother and sisters
and he called them "dead eyed Dick"....lol

Dscn1164_2

about 3 years ago TaraT

Dinner tonight! We called them egg surprise, they were as tasty then as they are now!

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over 3 years ago Msveedub

These were Toads in the Hole =)

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over 3 years ago Miche

My fave as a kid- we called them one-eyed eggs. I can't believe anyone would throw away the middle circle!! Best part.