Feeling Like a Basketcase? Make One!

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The “Basketcase”; Breakfast of Champions

A lady from church, who also works at my wife’s office, raises chickens and sells their eggs. With our brood, we typically purchase 3 to 4 dozen eggs from her each week. We usually go through them all, but on the off chance that I have too many in the fridge, I give them away, to people who will appreciate them. Fresh eggs are far better than the ones from the supermarket.

So, how does one highlight the merits of a fine fresh egg? Make a “basketcase”: a single piece of bread, with a hole cut out of the center, fried in butter, with an “over easy” egg in the center.

Basketcase

For each serving:

1 fresh egg

1.5 tbsp butter

1 slice white bread (not “Wonder” or some other variant; the only thing one wonders about Wonder Bread is how it qualifies as bread at all. I usually use a sturdy “buttermilk” sliced bread)

salt and pepper, to taste

Bread, melted butter absorbed on both sides

Bread, melted butter absorbed on both sides

1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet.

2. Cut the center out of the slice of bread; a round cookie cutter works best. Take care not to allow the bread to tear apart, leaving an opening for the egg to escape.

3. Once the butter is melted, place the bread and the bread circle in the pan, allowing it to absorb some of the melted butter. Then, flip the bread and bread circle, and move it around in the pan so that this side absorbs the rest of the butter. Allow the bread to fry slightly (60-120 seconds) and flip it again.

Time to flip

Time to flip

4. Carefully crack the egg into the opening in the bread, making sure not to allow the yolk to break. Season the egg with a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow the egg to cook, until the perimeter of the egg appears opaque and completely set.

5. Flip both the bread with the egg and the egg circle (carefully, again the goal is to avoid breaking the yolk) and cook for another 30-60 seconds.

6. Transfer to a plate and immediately serve, with the fried bread round as garnish.

When you cut into it, the egg should be “over easy” — a completely cooked white with a completely runny yolk. I like to add some hot sauce to mine. You can also do a lot to turn this easy “weekday” breakfast into a “weekend” one, by adding: tomatoes and basil; a little pesto; some cheese; sautéed mushrooms. Experiment.

For some reason, these taste best with some really strong coffee. Your toast is built in. It can easily accommodate some sausage or bacon.

Finished "Basketcase", cut open

Finished “Basketcase”, cut open

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