Amanda & Merrill

One-Eyed Sandwiches

October 26, 2010

One-eyed sandwiches

- Merrill

Some of the best mornings growing up were those when my sister and I awoke to the smell of egg sandwiches frying in butter. 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; he was a total character, but other than making eggs, he didn't spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.

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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.

One-Eyed Sandwiches

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.
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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Mamasays August 17, 2014
bird in the nest
Assonta W. August 16, 2014
That recipe is exactly how I make them for my kids!
Luigi March 30, 2013
We call them "Cowboy Egg" served with a Side of "Texas Style Chili" no Beans.
zoumonkie March 30, 2013
It's a one-eyed Egyptian sandwich.
joy November 4, 2010
i went to a sleepaway camp in the 1960's called "wellmet" on the ny/penn border near port jervis. we made this over a campfire and called it "rocky mountain toast". my children loved this special breakfast growing up, and other "wellmetites" that i run into also remember the rocky mountain toast as a fond memory of our sleepaway camp days. thanks for turning the community onto it!
lapierrefine November 3, 2010
My uncle taught me how to make this always called them "toad-in-the-hole". This is still a comfort food for me along with a good strong cup of sweet black tea. The little cut out circle gets fried in the butter too, but never makes it to the table. And yes, we have always used Pepperidge Farm bread which also makes the best BLTs.
Miche November 3, 2010
When I was growing up they were referred to as One-Eyed Eggs.
bluminflower November 1, 2010
This is a favorite at my house too! I have heard so many names for it: 'egg in the O' 'frog in a bucket' 'framed egg' and i've heard one about sunshine:)
RaquelG November 1, 2010
My husband calls these "Toad in the Hole" and my first experience with them was just this past September when he finally convinced me to go camping at Assateague Island in Maryland. Crispy, buttery, eggy goodness cooked over the fire in the same cast iron pan in which we had just fried the bacon... Not sure the experience would be the same at home, without the slight smokiness from the wood fire, and the background noise of waves and wild ponies while breakfasting, though!
fortyniner November 1, 2010
Thanks RaquelG, your description conjures up wonderful pictures of of an amazing time camping at Assateague Island. There is definitely something about food cooked outdoors, it has such a different taste. Washed down with a great cup of tea or coffee - who needs expensive cafes, when you have the great outdoors!
In both UK and Oz, Toad in the Hole is a batter cooked in a high temp oven with sausages inlaid into the batter.

I have loved reading all the different names that people give the same dish.
Tara K. November 1, 2010
I first made these at camp...where they called them "Gold Mines" with the yolk being the prized gold :)
Marla November 1, 2010
So fun! We love Toads in the Hole for breakfast - but stuck on the sprouted grain bread!
gingermad October 31, 2010
We call them "one-eyed jacks" at our house. My husband is stilled fooled by the little grilled rounds because he thinks they're sausage patties until he takes a bite!
sugar-n-spice October 31, 2010
My husband's kitchen repertoire consists of 3 items and this is one of them. His family calls them hole-in-ones. Love them with cheese or strawberry jam.
annamakena October 31, 2010

My kids call them "toady eggs" as "toad in the hole" is too much of a mouthful. Hugely popular at our house.
slanoue October 31, 2010
"Popeyes!" I learned to make them when sleeping over a friend's house. Her mom used the lid of the pepper shaker to cut the whole in the center of the bread and ensure a perfect circle. I like to grill one side of the bread right in the butter on the griddle, add a bit more butter, flip add egg and cook before flipping once more. Makes bread extra crispy and egg really fries on top. A classic in our house!
FeastontheCheap October 31, 2010
We called this an Egg in a Hat and it was a staple at birthday breakfasts. Love 'em
kfoglesong October 31, 2010
Frog In The Middle
Uhoh! October 31, 2010
Toad in the hole!
fortyniner October 31, 2010
This is a favorite done on the bbq here in Oz. Bread is not toasted first, just cooked one side on the bbq, turned and then egg cracked into the hole. And of course the cut out circle is cooked on the bbq too for the ultimate dipping tool. These are especially popular with campers as they are such an easy, tasty snack for any time of the day.
Mkoerner October 31, 2010
Eye openers!