We had a gorgeous sail from Kingston to Langley on Wednesday — our first time sailing Meridian — and an equally sunny, beautiful trip from Langley to Anacortes on Thursday, including a fun, slightly challenging passage navigating through the picturesque Swinomish Channel. Both days were warm enough to sail in shorts, and Lily Winston Churchill napped contentedly beneath the dodger as we sailed.
But since this is the Northwest, summer decided to take a breather and we awoke Friday to the steady drumbeat of rain on the cabintop. We’d planned to head to Spencer Spit to meet up with our friends Jason and Julia, but the weather wasn’t exactly ideal for the day of crabbing and beachcombing we’d envisioned.
So we decided to stay put. And aside from not seeing Jason and Julia, neither of us minded too much. We’ve been on the go for the past three days and figured we could use a day of down time for some writing and relaxing. And that called for a proper, unrushed breakfast aboard.
With inspiration from a recent post on the excellent food blog Tea & Cookies, I decided to make Egg in a Basket. The dish is known by many other names: Frog in a Hole, Toad in a Hole, Egg in a Nest, etc. The name isn’t important — the point is that it’s an egg dropped into a hole cut out of a piece of bread and fried to deliciousness. Topped with a little cheese, it’s a bit of breakfast nirvana.
So while Marty ground some coffee and got the French press ready, I got out the eggs, bread and cheese. I used potato bread from Seattle’s Essential Bakery that I picked up yesterday before we left Langley and a combo of parmesan and cheddar/gruyere cheese. I had some leftover onion and a few ripe tomatoes, so I figured I’d toss those in as well.
The dish is so easy to make it doesn’t really require a recipe, but for anyone who’s interested, here’s a basic recipe for one serving that can be tweaked as you like.
One slice of thick bread
Grated parmesan cheese
Thyme (oregano, chives or basil would also be good)
Salt and pepper
Cut a hole in the piece of bread; you can use a small juice glass or cookie cutter for this, if you have one the right size. I didn’t, so I just eyeballed it. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil or butter (I use maybe half a teaspoon). Put the bread in the skillet along with the cut-out piece (don’t throw it out!), which makes a tasty crouton that can be dipped into the yolk.
Crack an egg into the hole and cook for about two minutes, then carefully flip it over. Sprinkle the cheese and thyme on top, then cook just long enough to melt the cheese and cook the yolks so they’re still a little (or a lot, depending on how you like your eggs) runny.
I sautéed a little chopped onion alongside the bread and fried a few thickly sliced pieces of tomato. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes to make and was absolutely delicious.
As raindrops tapped a light rhythm on the hatch above the table, we unfolded our settee table, which is big enough to serve dinner for six, and sat down for a leisurely breakfast. There was no tide change to meet, nowhere we had to be.
We lingered over our coffee, savoring the ability to just sit in one place for a while. It was as lovely a morning as a rainy, grey one could be.