Smoked Salmon Egg in a Basket (Egg in a Hole) - SRC

Dear Reader, are you in for a treat!  This month's episode of the continuing saga, The Secret Recipe Club, brings you a delicious brunch recipe from Karen of Lavender and Lovage
Karen was born in South Africa, grew up in England, then lived in some of the most beautiful countries in the world before returning to England.  She currently splits her time between there and her own cooking school in South West France.

Karen is also a food writer, so of course her memoir-style posts weave magic.  Her description of weekend breakfasts as a child in Shatin, Hong Kong are riveting!  A photographer, she even includes a few scenic photos of Shatin of years ago and today.  How exotic!

I'm not as good as a writer as she.  And Central NJ is not quite as exotic ... as it used to be, anyway.  So I'll instead share a few scenic photos that I didn't take of an exotic area of the world I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting ... China.

The Great Wall of China. Technically a group of walls joined together.
theMiddleChild poses in the photo on right.

If you are a regular Dear Reader, you are familiar with theMiddleChild.  For a while I had been alternatively referring to him as soldierBoy or Sgt. Yinon during his years in the IDF (Israel Defense Force).   This past June he finished his enlistment, so for a short time he became exSoldierBoy.

 For a very short time.  Because ...

theWanderingJew (left) and Aaron, another wanderer,
posed in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
No idea about the 2 guys behind them on the left.

... last month he moved yet again to Beijing for grad school.  So for the next 2 years I will simply refer to him as theWanderingJew.

Anyway, theWanderingJew and another grad school attendee Aaron graciously provided a few photos, which I now share with you.  You're welcome.

But I digress.

Did I mention that Karen is also a professional photographer and awesome food stylist?  For instance, her presentation of Smoked Salmon Egg in a Basket, also known as Egg in a Hole or Toad in a Hole (you were wondering when I'd finally swing around to the recipe).  Instead of just ripping a jagged circle out of the bread and popping it in my mouth, Karen uses a scallopped biscuit cutter to delicately lift a perfect scalloped circle.  After frying it along with the bread and egg, she positions it over the smoked salmon at a jaunty angle.  Genius!

Somehow I managed to save a couple thick slices of challah from this past Friday, which stood in on Sunday for the rustic bread.  After heading off to the Try-n-Save to successfully pick up nova lox (what's the difference between smoked salmon and lox?  $8 a pound {{rimshot}}) and to unsuccessfully find shallots of any color, I returned home to find that I didn't have the sour cream I thought I had.  Lucky for me, whipped cream cheese does an excellent imitation.  Luckier for me, finely diced red onion works well, especially since I have no idea how pink shallots taste.  As for the fresh dill, the closest thing I have to fresh dill in my herb garden are dead dill plants clutching live seeds, so I went instead with the still-thriving parsley.

theHubby sniffed suspiciously at his serving ... hesitantly taking fork to mouth.  Then put down his fork.  And smiled, saying, "Serve this to break the Yom Kippur fast".   Whoa ... in hubby-speak, that's a 5-star review!

Smoked Salmon Egg in a Basket (Toad in a Hole)
Adapted from Lavender and Lovage (adapted from Lifeisgood)
Yield: 2 servings

2 thick slices of challah
4 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 large  eggs
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
4 generous slices of nova lox (or Scottish smoked salmon)
2 Tbl. sour cream or whipped cream cheese
2 tsp. capers, drained
1 slice of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced
2 sprigs of fresh dill or parsley, for garnish

Using a biscuit/cutter or small glass, cut a circle from the middle of the two slices of challah.  The size of the circle will depend upon the size of your challah. Don't eat the cut-outs yet.

Melt  butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry the challah and circles for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Flip over the slices and circles (don't eat the circle yet).   Crack an egg into each hole.   Don't panic if some of the egg whites try to escape out from under the slices.

Continue frying for another 2 to 3 minutes,  flipped again the challah and egg combination halfway through to completely cook the egg yolks.  Be sure to remove and set aside the circles (don't eat them yet) as soon as they are golden brown since they will be done first.

Plate the challah and eggs.  Sprinkle evenly with pepper.  Place two slices of nova or smoked salmon decoratively over each egg.  Spoon sour cream or cream cheese on top.  Sprinkle capers and the chopped red onion evenly over the top.

Garnish with dill or parsley sprig. Position the fried circle on top off-center to be fancy-schmancy.  Now you can eat the circles ... and everything underneath.

Important note!  Because this post is participating in a blog hop, some of the recipes below might not be kosher.


Rebekah Hills said…
I am drooling... too many tasty recipes this morning! This looks and sounds absolutely phenomenal! Such an elegant "facelift" to Toad in a Hole - yumm!!
SallyBR said…
Love her blog, and you are right, her writing is superb!

Have a great Reveal Monday! This month's collection is wonderful...
Love how you serve the little tophats with them, too. Great SRC choice!
Lauren Everson said…
I've never had egg-in-the-hole but it looks so fun!! Nice choice this month. Congrats to your son too.
Wendy Klik said…
Cream cheese was a great substitute especially with the Lox.
Karen Booth said…
Thanks so much for the fabulous and numerous write up Dena and what lovely photos too! I'm chuffed that your husband liked this recipe and it's great to meet you through SRC! Karen
This looks amazing! Smoked salmon is one of my favorite breakfasts! And that challah bread looks soooo yummy. What a great combo!
Lynn Huntley said…
I haven't made a hole in the bread with an egg in years!! This recipe looks delicious and tasty. Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines
My husband would absolutely love this for breakfast! Awesome pick this month :)
Avril said…
I am seriously, seriously drooling right now as I type in this comment. What a fabulous recipe! I am completely in awe of all the wonderful flavors and ingredients that are all put together to make this recipe. D'lish!
Emily said…
Smoked salmon is one of the things off limits for pregnant women. I wish it wasn't. This looks amazing! Maybe I will save it for a celebratory breakfast once the baby comes :) Happy Reveal Day!
April Tuell said…
Now that's the way to take an ordinary breakfast, and turn it into a gourmet treat!
Karen Kerr said…
That dish looks amazing and love the story about your son. xoxo
Baking Addict said…
What a great recipe - an elevated toad in the hole. I love Karen's blog, its fantastic!
Susan Pridmore said…
This looks so awesome! I would love to make this for special breakfast or brunch. Wonderful SRC selection this month!!!!

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