Friday, March 13, 2009

Toad in the Hole

Ok, ok, so this isn't, strictly speaking, a bacon dish, but it did involve bacon in its creation, and it was seriously fantastic, so I figure why not. 

It may seem like a basic concept, poke a hole in a piece of bread and fry an egg in it, but there is ARTISTRY involved. If you don't believe me, check out my first attempt:

This is more like if somebody had tried to extract the toad from its hole using dynamite.

So, the basics are obvious perhaps, but I'm going to give you the step-by-step process that produces a truly beautiful toad in a hole. At least, by my standards.

Step 1: Fry a couple slices of bacon in a pan until crispy. Set aside, leaving (of course!) the glorious fat in the pan.

Step 2: Make a hole in a slice of bread. You want it to be about 2 inches in diameter, I'd say - big enough for the toad to fit in. Otherwise, your yolk'll break and doomy doom will ensue (see exhibit A).

Step 3: Place bread in pan. Brown one side, allowing it to absorb some greasy goodness, then flip it.

Step 4: Crack egg into hole - carefully. Some of the white will spill over the top. It's ok. In fact, you can sort of spread the white over the bread a bit so as to help it cook faster. 

Step 5: When the white that spilled over is fully cooked, and the egg generally appears mostly cooked, aside from the filmy layer on the top, grab a spatula, and, using a steady hand, remove the piece of bread from the pan. Then, holding it, carefully put it back in the pan, face down. You get it? Basically, you're flipping it. However, given the toad's fragile nature, it's actually more effective to remove it and flip the pan. 

Step 5: Cook for maybe 30 seconds more - if that. What you're going for here is cooked whites, runny yolk. So you want it in there just long enough to cook that filmy top layer, but not longer. 

Remove from pan. Arrange bacon on the sides in quasi-artistic fashion. I recommend sprinkling it with hot sauce at this point, but if you're gonna photograph it, do that first. It should look like this:

That's a fine looking toad.

And the inside of the yolk should look like this:

Intro bio assignments never looked this tasty.

A good strategy to approach the creature is to begin by dunking the bacon in the yolk, then picking the shortest side and attacking, later using the remnants of bread to mop off the plate.


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