Saturday, October 08, 2005


Any night you put down a 720ml (yes, 720ml. no, I don't know why.) of sake and then keep drinking often means the next morning is going to be rough. That's when you need a good, easy recovery breakfast.

When I was a kid, one of the first recipes I remember making (more or less on my own) came from one of those kid's cookbooks with the drawings that looked like they were made from crayon in order to be kid friendly. Some of the recipes were easy and great (like the one I'm going to show you). Others were...not. I swear there was a recipe in there for "Popcorn Fireworks" that advocated putting popcorn in the popper without putting the cover on and then letting the corn fly all over the room as it popped. It's probably why the book isn't in print anymore.

"Eggs in a Nest" is a really easy take on "Pan Perdue" (French for "Lost Bread"...what we think of as French Toast). All you need are 1 egg per piece of bread, some butter or oil, a frying pan and a working cooktop.

There is a video that shows how easy and cheap it is to make it here at the ITV "Get Stuffed" site. That's right. ITV. British people. Making cooking shows. Despite Britain's reputation of "where food goes to die", this show is better than half the crap on Food Network.

On the video, they use regular sandwich bread. That'll work ok, but the recipe is better when you can use leftover bread from a loaf of sourdough or similar "good" bread. It dries out a little bit (the preservatives in sliced sandwich bread keep it from drying out) so it soaks the egg up more - thus allowing the bread and egg to achieve a more perfect oneness.

So here's what you do:

First you need to cut the bread into slices about 3/4" to an inch thick. Thinner than that and the egg will spill out. Much thicker than that and the yolk won't be level with the top of the bread, which makes it cook less evenly.

Then you need to cut a hole out of the middle of each slice. I find a shot glass works well for this purpose:

Meanwhile, heat up a frying pan to medium high heat and add about 3 tablespoons of oil. I like olive oil. If you decide to use butter, you'll need to change the ratio to 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil so the butter doesn't burn.

Then, to check that the oil is at a good temp for frying, add your bread circles:

If they start to soak up all your oil like little sponges, your pan is not hot enough. If they start to burn, your pan is too hot. If they sizzle merrily, your pan is perfect. Let them brown up on both sides and remove them from the pan.

Add the bread to the pan. Crack an egg into the hole of each slice of bread:

Yes, some of the egg will ooze out from the bread and start to bubble and crisp in the oil. That's ok. However, if it starts to turn black your heat is too high. Turn it down before you burn your breakfast!

Give the eggs and bread about 2-3 minutes per side. You want the eggs to set on each side and the bread to toast up all nice and golden. I like my eggs in this dish to be runny when you cut into the toast. If you like yours more done, turn the heat down to medium and go 4-5 minutes or so per side.

The resulting dish looks like this:

If I serve it with a side of aspirin and some coffee, I can cure my hangover and relive a small part of my childhood.

And that's not bad multitasking while damaged.


Ari said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ari said...

What is it about breakfast food that tastes so good to a previously alcohol soaked palate?

I'm going to a show tonight, so I may have to try that tomorrow morning.

Amandarama said...

Ari - IMHO, I think it's the grease and starch that is generally found in the average breakfast meal, coupled with the ease of digestion of most breakfast items, that is the most appealing to the "alcohol soaked palate".

Have fun at your concert. If you try the recipe, please let me know how it worked out :)

Ithiel said...

I love these things. I first had them years ago (as hangover food no less). It's odd how things like this disseminate.

Lance Manion said...

Actually it would be "pain perdu" because there's an I in pain, and it's a masculine noun, so the verb perdre wouldn't have the feminine e suffix.

Doesn't that make it taste even better?

I'll just go home and wait for that box of poison spiders to arrive.

Amandarama said...

ithiel - It is cool how these things get around.

lance - Yup. Your knowledge of French is impeccable. You know who else was good at French? Dougie. (see Lance's blog for more details, kiddies!)

Joe Tornatore said...

i make these eggs. have for years. the person who taught me how to cook them this way lived in California and called them California eggs.