Posted in Food

“Bits, Flipped or Sunny Side Up”

Coming back home into the noon hours, the quiet inside suddenly turned into a boisterous clamouring of feet and run of words. Nevertheless this noise was a welcome respite after winding up the work schedule at the main company. With the lock-down phase going quite strong; to close a couple of financial year-end projects, it was necessary to touch the base and camp in there for the last two days.

Being back at home with my better-half who was holding the fort, it was quite interesting to hear the events of past hours. With pieces of tales of the movie night, “One-eyed Jacks”, “dad let us sleep in”, “we had tons of ice-cream” and “we won the match”, the last day and half saw them getting involved in something new. What made it more interesting was the plate of “Adam and Eve on a Raft” with a cup of iced tea to go with the “accounting”. With food already in the fridge for yesterday was told, “getting creative with bread, a couple of eggs and other stuff” was what made the morning hours go by till lunch.

“Adam and Eve on a Raft
Rounds of bread, 2 eggs, Butter or lard, Salt and pepper to taste
Cut a large round of bread, and fry it in hot butter or lard until a golden brown. Then place it on a hot platter, and keep warm. Poach the eggs carefully, season and place on bread.” Blondie’s Soups Salads Sandwiches Cook Book, selected and illustrated by Chic Young [Bell Publishing Company:Drexel Hill PA] 1947 (p. 134)

A handful of eggs, flour based food as base and basic vegetables of onions, tomatoes and a dash of salt, pepper and spices opens up a whole new slot of recipes. Call them by any name, but eggs on toast can be extrapolated to being “in-the-basket”, “pirate-eye” or the indigenous dish of “huevos rancheros” or Huevos estrellados” to name two.

Technically “egg in a hole (or frame)”, known by numerous other names like “one-eyed Jack” or “popeye”, refers to an egg prepared in the circular or square hole cut into the piece of bread, or even a bagel or waffle. When the buttered bread browns in the pan, the egg is cracked into the “basket” carved out in the toast. Depending on when one chooses to place the egg, flip the bread or cover it, results in varying shades of the same dish living up to all of it’s titles names.

“One-eyed Jacks.
Use an upside-down cup to cut a hole out of the center of a slice of bread. lay the bread in a hot, greased pan and crack an egg into the hole. Fry it a few minutes until the egg sets, then flip the bread and egg with a spatula and cook the other side. You’ll have an egg and toast all in one.” Boy Scout Handbook, Boy Scouts of America 1990 (p. 109)

Even fried eggs have their own set of indigenous recipes, based on the local and regional cuisine. From the Portugese bife a cavalo, German Strammer Max, Chilean lomo a lo pobre, the Danish uitsmijter ham (or spek) en kaas or the Russian yaichnitsa are just few of the many recipes to decide from. Delving into the Mexican cuisine, huevos rancehros is one of the large traditonal Mexican brunches that one can prepare as same or in a variation. Keeping it simple, the basic dish consists of fried eggs served on lightly fried or charred corn or flour tortillas topped with a salsa fresca made of tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, and cilantro. It can be served with rice, refried beans or slices of avocado. Shifting over to lunch hours, Huevos estrellados (Madrid) refers to pan-eggs fried with French fries, meat (ham, bacon) and served hot with potatoes. While one can alter the recipes as suited for self, the combinations available are endless.

With the lock-down till on, trying out something different but simple puts an interesting spin to weary days. The fact that eggs, bread (or even pita or roti) with added simple kitchen ingredients pave way for an endless process of creativity as well as satisfying the taste buds, allows one to don the apron and start off.

“Eggs in a Basket
2 servings
Kids get a kick out of this dish, especially when they get to make the basket.
Using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter or small glass, cut a hole out of the center of 2 slices sandwich bread. Melt in a large skillet over medium heat 2 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed. Add the bread and cook for about 30 seconds. Crack into the holes 2 eggs. Do not worry if some of the white remains on top of the bread or runs out from underneath. When the eggs begin to set, 2 or 3 minutes, flip the bread and eggs, using a spatula. Add more butter as needed. Fry the other side until the eggs are done to your liking. Grill the rounds of bread in butter and serve them as well.” Joy of Cooking, 75th anniversary edition, Irma S. Rombauer et all [Scribner:New York] 1997, 2006 (p. 196)