I love all recipes that are experiments in culinary alchemy. Take humble ingredients that are perhaps a bit old, perhaps a bit stale, combine them lovingly in a frying pan, and suddenly you have delicious gold which may or may not be from the luster of fat and cholesterol.

But I especially love eggy in a box (that's what we called it at home, though an informal survey of the internet tells me that "eggy in a basket" is how one refers to this novelty in the vernacular) because fried toast with an egg center was a cornerstone of my upbringing. A very squishy cornerstone to build anything on, but a cornerstone nonetheless. I guess the best way to sum up this dish is to say that it is for brits and wasps what migas are for tex mex.

Let's do it

You will need: a frying pan, slices of sandwich bread (bottom-of-the-bagers if you got them), as many eggs as sandwich bread, and butter.

Do you have a frying pan wide enough to hold at least two slices of sandwich bread? If not, you'll be singletoasting it the whole way—a grim prospect. Also, you run the risk of having the corners of your ill-fitting slice of bread lifted up by the sides of the pan. Better start pouring some cereal, chump.

For those of you who are better endowed, whip out that massive frying pan of yours and put it on a burner set to "mediumish" to warm up. Now's a good time to brew up a nice pot of coffee.

You need to butter the bread on both sides. A quick way to do that is to melt a square of butter in your pan and coat the surface with a thin film. Drop a slice of bread in the center and give it a quick turn then flip it over and do the same to the other side. Put the slice of bread on a plate off to the side and repeat until you have a stack of slices.

With a knife, cut a square out of the center of each slice of bread. You can also use a cup or a cookie cutter if you want a more whimsical shape. Place the hollowed-out bread in the pan to fry. Drop a small amount of butter and crack an egg into the center of each. Go ahead and toast up the bread centers wherever you have room left in the pan.

If you've fried an egg before, you know when to flip. You'll appreciate, I'm sure, how much easier it is to flip the eggs when they're framed by a delicious, buttery crust of bread. What you do with the toasted centers is up to you, but here are a few suggestions:


Apparently this little recipe has many aliases—hence, this node got merged with "one-eyed jack."

One-eyed jack? What an absolutely barbaric name for this kind and gentle creature.