I’m a sucker for cheese, eggs, and bread. I’m a sucker for just about any food. More so those three though. I’m also a sucker for breakfast food anytime of the day. Perhaps I am just a sucker. Doing Mr. T proud, then.
This is one of those dishes that’s so simple it defies logic that it should be so tasty. There’s no lengthy preparation. No long cook time. It’s simple and it’s better than most things you’ll put in your mouth this week, I can almost guarantee that. It’s so good I started writing about it before I’ve finished eating. I want to share.
I’ve had this once before in a little tiny place in New York one Saturday for brunch. I’ve never forgotten it. It’s one of those places that has the Italian sort-of-a-meal-sort-of-a-snack thing down more solidly than anywhere else I’ve been. It’s a nice place to linger for a while over some food that’s thoughtful and well made. It’s called ‘ino. On the menu this is simply called truffled egg toast. It’s pretty much what it sounds like, which is tasty.
I’ve no recipe for this. No guidelines. I’m just going off what seems like a very simple premise and winging the whole how-to-make-it bit. It can’t be that hard to reproduce because there is in fact, very little going on with this dish.
Before we do anything else, turn your stove up to searing hot. Like as hot as it will go. You could also just use the broiler, I prefer to have it set really hot, then turn on the broiler. I have already set off my incredibly sensitive smoke alarm twice in five minutes because something in my oven is lightly smoking off from the heat.
I made us a little lunch today, so for two people you’ll need two slices of bread. White bread is much the better option but do as you like. A slightly thicker slice would be a nice thing as well. I didn’t make any Amish White Bread this week so we’re on store-bought. Sad but true. I did find a nice white bread that I was very happy with. It’s no pretty Pullman loaf, but it’ll do quite nicely.
I cut the crusts off because….well because it’s just what was going through my head at the moment, if I’m being honest. I’m not sure it’s all that necessary. I used the back of a regular soup spoon to make a solid round indentation in each slice of bread. That’s where the egg is going to live. Crack an egg for each slice of bread and separate the whites. I save them for meringue or whatnot. Plop a yolk into the indentation on each slice of bread.
You can use what you like for cheese. I use Fontina most of the time because it’s mild and it melts at the drop of a hat. Seriously, you could probably make soup out of Fontina with just a candle. This stuff wants to be a liquid. Line around the egg yolk with cheese. Don’t mind being neat or pretty looking. It’s just going to melt anyway. Just get good coverage, that’s the important part. You can see I’m using my cheese knife, the shape of which always makes me think I’m a Klingon battling a particularly foul tempered cheese. Hab SoSlI' Quch! (Roughly translated - "Your mother has a smooth forehead!" - which I understand to be quite an insult in Klingon.) Take that cheese!!!
This bread/cheese/egg combo goes onto the top rack of a very hot oven on a sheet pan. I set mine for 550 degrees F and then tossed the broiler on a minute before I put them on. It takes two minutes to melt, cook, and brown up ever so slightly. Keep a watchful eye on them as I imagine they could turn to burning-magma-mess in less time than it takes to say “lupDujHomwIj lubuy’moH gharghmey” (“My hovercraft is full of eels” in Klingon.)
Once removed put a dollop of oil right across the top of the yolks. I sometimes use truffle oil. Today I used this slightly spicy/hot Moroccan oil I bought a month or two ago. Either way it’s crazy. Since it was for lunch, I served them with a bit of leftover veggies from last night, the last of some leftover bubble and squeak, and a little bit of micro-greens because, well, that’s how I roll – to be honest.
As a very unrelated aside – that “Moroccan Oil” I use is thankfully Italian Olive oil with what one presumes, is the flavor of Morocco, steeped into it. I checked. Why am I so thankful and why on earth did I check?? What’s wrong with Morocco? Goats. Come again??
I was describing this dish and the oil I used to my mother. She related a horrible story about these goats that climb trees in Morocco. I thought for sure this was a story someone told her as a joke. What goat climbs a tree? It sounds utterly stupid. In fact it is utterly stupid – but true. Look!
So – there really are goats in the trees. Why should this matter? Well, that’s an olive tree. The goats climb to consume the olives. Tasty treat for a goat, I imagine. No big deal. Except that they eat the olives and leave their goat-ish excrement behind (perhaps this is the actual Marrakesh Express.) When the local folks go to collect the olives to be pressed, they pick up everything – pre-goat consumed olives and all. GAH! I don’t want anything that’s passed through a goat in my pantry thank you. So if you value your life, say no to Moroccan olive oil. I was ready to throw any bottle with “Product of Morocco” on my shelves deeply into the trash and run it down to the dumpster. Thankfully none were so marked. Thanks mom.
So anyway – back to the truffled egg toast – that’s why we’re here. Stupid goats. They were, as always, really great. The truffled egg toast, not the goats. It’s a delicate thing to be sure. Don’t use anything overly powerful as seasoning, or even as bread – because that’s all you’ll taste. Done right, they are perfection on a plate. I’m still effusing about them and I’ve been done eating for 45 minutes.
For a simple dish for two you’ll need:
- 2 Slices of White Bread (Thicker Slices = Better)
- 2 Egg Yolks
- A Few Slices of Fontina (Or Whatever Cheese You Like)
- 2 Tablespoons (Give or Take) of Truffle (Or Other) Non-Moroccan Oil
- Sides/Accompaniments To Suite Taste/Time of Day
Bake or Broil for two minutes or so in oven set to high heat. When cheese is melted and starting to lightly brown – remove quickly and enjoy.