Ciabatta Egg in the Basket

egginbasket-sEgg in the basket is where you fry an egg in a hole made in a slice of bread. If you make it well, the bread fries to a golden brown crunchiness, whist the egg yolk is soft and runny in the middle.

Obviously it is fried in butter, what else? then, having this beautiful slice of fried bread with the egg inside, you can top it with HP Sauce, cream cheese, or, as in the case on Saturday, home-made sour-cream and chives and a dollop of sweet chili sauce. We added a few crunchy fried streaky bacon strips to complete the symphony of taste and texture.

I usually use normal brown bread to do it, white for the kids. This time I used a slightly old chunk of Ciabatta, that king of breads.  The ciabatta added more crunch and texture, and, as it was slightly stale, it went quite crunchy and not soggy. (Ciabatta is one bread that you never throw away. When it gets stale, you can use it for so many things, like croutons, in soup to thicken, even to make pasta with. In Italy, stale ciabatta is even more valuable in the kitchen than fresh!)


ciabatta2 slices. I cut a 15cm chunk and then sliced it in the middle, like making a sarmie. I used the top and the bottom and cut holes in these.
butterAt least a tablespoon
baconA pack of smoked laasterus streaky bacon.
sweet chili sauce1 teaspoon per slice
Sour cream1 tub
chiveshandful of fresh chives, chopped fine

How I went about it:

  1. Making fresh sour cream and chives
    1. Could not be simpler. Chop the chives finely, open the tub of sour cream and scoop two tablespoons out. (Otherwise it overflows and the chives fall out when you stir it in). Add the chives. Stir in. Add the two tablespoons of sour cream back and stir in. Let it stand for at least a hour to steep.
  2. Preparing the bread
    1. Take a wine glass with a diameter that is less than the breadth of the bread. Simply squeeze the wine glass through the bread to make a perfect hole. Keep the round plug to fry with the bread.
  3. Putting it together
    1. Heat the pan and add the butter. Cover the surface of the pan and get the butter to bubble but not turn brown. Place the slices of bread into the pan, as well as the two discs. Crack the eggs into each hole, one egg per hole. If your pan is slightly curved you need to press the bread down whilst doing this, otherwise it escapes from the basket. Season with salt and pepper. When the egg is bubbling up, and visibly white at the bottom, turn the bread with a spatula. If the egg runs when you do this, you are doing it too soon. It should be sealed at the bottom and the bread should be golden.
    2. Fry the bacon to crisp in a second pan on the side.
    3. Turn around and fry the other side until golden brown.
    4. Don’t over-fry it, as the egg would be hard, which is just wrong. A perfect egg should be warm and runny.
  4. Plating
    1. Scoop the two egg in baskets onto a plate.
    2. Put a dollop of sour cream with chives on top of each egg and a dollop of sweet chili sauce.
    3. Sprinkle some left-over chives over the dish for decoration.
    4. Put the crisp streaky bacon on top to finish it off.

Not that we condone the condition, but this is the perfect babelaas brekkie!



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