No, this isn't a post about Pope Benedict XVI, though we should probably do an Eggs Beendict or Benedictine post soon. This is the recreation of a very simple breakfast I enjoyed at Chicago's Kitsch'n in Roscoe Village this last Sunday.
Kitsch'n bathes in the glory of 1970's junk. You can't swing a Brady (not even Cindy) without hitting some Day-Glo plastic tchochkie. The food, however was decidedly not kitschy, though I can imagine this being some white polyester-clad John-Travolta-wannabe's ace-in-the-hole morning-after meal.
I recreated this simple egg and bread recipe the day after our meal. Both my wife and I have enjoyed it and you will too. It may even make you feel like dancing (gonna dance the night away).
The original was probably baked, but I never miss a chance to add a little butter to breakfast. If you prefer, use a little oil or nothing at all and a nonstick pan.
Thick slice of good bread (about 3/4" to 1") per person
One egg per person.
One teaspoon of butter per person
salt and pepper
Take an egg-yolk sized hole out of the middle of each slice of bread by pinching, cutting or stamping it out.
Melt the butter in the pan over high heat. When it's hot and sizzling add the bread. Move the bread around so it absorbs a bit of butter then flip the slice so the other side can pick up some of the butter.
Let the bread toast on the first side for about two-three minutes until it seems to be getting golden brown. Flip the bread over. After about 30 seconds, reduce the heat to medium and crack the egg directly into the hole in the bread.
Do not move the bread for at least 30 seconds so the egg that makes it to the bottom will set and plug the hole. Quickly flip the toast over and wait for at least 30 seconds again so a seal is formed.
If you prefer your egg yolk extremely runny, cook for about 30 seconds more. If you like them firmer you can go a few minutes. I got the best results after about 90-120 seconds. Check the color of the toast underneath to make sure you aren't burning it if you go long. Flip to toast the other side again to prevent burning if necessary.
Salt and pepper the toast lightly and serve with a fruit salad side or some breakfast potatoes.
The egg seeps into the bread just a little, but without creating that french toast texture that would be wrong for this dish.
Word to the wise - be very careful when you bite into the middle of the egg area. Sometimes its hard to tell if the yolk has set until you pierce it and it runs out all over your chin and shirt.