Treat your eggs right – cozy them up in French bread: double bull’s eyes!
Margaret’s steamed eggs recipe last week got me thinking… it’s time to crank it up a notch!
When my kids were growing up I’d sometimes make bull’s eyes for them for breakfast – an egg frying in a round hole cut into regular sandwich bread, flipped over in the pan, topped with cheese and spices, then covered for a minute or two. This was a favorite of theirs — until they started thinking about their cholesterol and fat intake.
This version is for a bigger appetite. And a good, fat, crusty country loaf of French bread makes it an especially tasty and soul-soothing breakfast dish.
For a single serving you’ll need:
- a country loaf of crusty French bread, like the wide-bodied one below
- two large eggs
- pat of butter
- sliced cheese of your choice – I like cheddar but American or Swiss are good, too
- salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
Cut a slice of bread about 1 1/4″ thick. Using a shot glass, jigger, or other small round tool, cut two holes all the way through the bread – they should be separated by a small wedge of bread in the middle so the eggs stay separated.
Heat the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. When it starts to brown, put the bread slice in and let it fry for about 30 seconds. Now crack the eggs and deposit them in the two holes. Fry over medium low heat for about 2 minutes, or until the very bottoms of the eggs start to firm up.
Flip the double bull’s eye with a spatula, layer on the cheese slices and dab a teaspoon or two of salsa on top. Cover, keep the flame at medium low, and cook for about 4 more minutes. It takes longer than you think because the eggs are nested in the bread and it takes awhile for the heat to work through them. When the time is up, test the firmness of the eggs with a spoon or fork. If they feel too squishy, cook another minute or so.
Serve with ham, bacon, or sausage and a side of fruit to assuage the guilt.
Now playing in Providence – 1 hour only – maybe the best composer alive!
My son works as a manager at an arts, performance, and music club in downtown Providence called the Aurora. It’s a terrific space that seats several hundred and is host to all kinds of fresh, avant-garde and edgy new talent – from poetry slams to performance art to good old rock and roll.
On Friday, Feb. 27, he called me and told me that a gentleman had come to the door that day and asked if he could borrow the club’s baby grand piano for about an hour of practice time. The club was empty except for staff, and my son agreed, believing he recognized the man, who didn’t have to introduce himself but did.
“I’m Philip Glass.”
My son (slack-jawed!) and the staff parked themselves at a safe distance and for the next hour were treated to what amounted to a private concert by a man who, many think, is the most brilliant composer alive today. Glass’s Wikipedia entry is scary – a lifetime chock full of concertos, symphonies, solo pieces, collaborations with rock stars like Paul Simon, Mick Jagger, Talking Heads and dozens more, and film scores: Kundun, The Hours, Secret Window, Notes on a Scandal, The Truman Show, The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War and much more. He continues to perform on piano with the Philip Glass ensemble, and seems, at the age of 78, inexhaustible.
My son and the Aurora staff were blown away by this utterly random visit from a composition superstar, and equally awed by what they heard coming from the piano. Here are two short clips – just 25 or 30 seconds – that my son recorded on his iPhone. Visuals not so good, but give a listen:
We still don’t know why Glass was in Providence that day, or why he happened upon the Aurora to look through its windows and spy a piano on a stage. Great things sometimes happen for no apparent reason.
(I think my favorite Glass composition is the 10-minute long “Escape to India,” the final piece of music in the movie Kundun, which tells the story of the 14th Dalai Lama’s life up to his escape from China-controlled Tibet into India in 1959. The song opens with brooding percussion and wind instruments local to Tibet and Nepal, then introduces its main theme at 4:19 as we watch the Dalai Lama walking at night with a small entourage toward a checkpoint on the Indian border. The song concludes with a thrilling “Rama” chorus that reaches a crescendo, then suddenly slams to silence as the movie ends. Watching this in a theater in 1998, I heard people gasping in astonishment at the music, then wiping tears away when the house lights came on. The group I was with didn’t move a muscle for several minutes.
If you’re new to Philip Glass, this is a great example of his best work. Try it, at least, from the 4:19 mark to the end, and crank up the volume.)
There it is, for now.