In college, I would make the short trek from Los Angeles to Palm Springs to join my uncle, his family, and my grandparents for Thanksgiving. After stuffing ourselves with turkey and fixings, we would turn in early. In the morning, we would awaken to my cousin Will, busy in the kitchen, proudly making his version of toad in a hole for everyone. Because my ideal breakfast consists of eggs over easy on toast, this new twist on that classic was intriguing. In fact, now I prefer it for the way the toast soaks up a bit of the egg while cooking. We make ours with quail eggs, sandwiched with prosciutto, tomatoes, and fresh basil. – Teri
- 8 large slices prosciutto
- 8 slices sourdough bread, each about 4 inches long and 6 inches wide
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 quail eggs*
- 8 Campanelli or Roma tomato slices, each 1⁄4 inch thick
- 8 large fresh basil leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
*You can use chicken eggs instead of quail eggs. If you opt for that change, you’ll need to use a whole slice of bread for each egg and a 2-inch round cutter. Also use Roma, rather than Campanelli, tomato slices and more prosciutto and basil for each sandwich. You will need to cook the eggs for 7 to 10 minutes in the oven, to allow the whites to set. The sandwiches won’t be mini bites, either. Instead, they will be a fairly substantial meal.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until shriveled and crispy. Set the prosciutto aside and raise the oven temperature to 375F.
- Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 2 rounds from each bread slice. Using a 1-inch round cutter, cut a round from the center of 8 of the bread rounds. Spread all 16 large bread rounds on both sides with the butter. (Discard the small centers and other bread scraps or save for another use.)
- Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Place the 8 bread rounds without holes in the skillet and toast, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Divide the toasted bread rounds among 4 plates, placing 2 rounds on each plate. Top each round with a piece of prosciutto, a tomato slice, and a basil leaf. Set aside.
- Place the bread rounds with the holes in the center in the skillet and lower the heat to medium. Toast the underside for about 3 minutes, until light brown. Flip the bread rounds and crack 1 egg into the hole of each round. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until the whites are opaque and the yolks are still runny.
- Place the egg-filled rounds on top of the prepared toast rounds. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
TIP: If you don’t have round cutters, use the rim of a 3-inch glass jar or drinking glass as a template to cut the bread rounds and a 1-inch bottle lid to cut the centers.