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I really don’t understand why this is called toad in a hole — or egg in a basket (although, that makes more sense) or whatever else it’s been called — but I suppose the name isn’t really that important. After all, it’s just the name of something you’re about to consume, presumably because it sounds good to you.

Anyway, enough bashing on whoever came up with the name of this concoction. A few years ago, I saw Paula Deen cutting circles out of bread, toasting them on a griddle, and frying an egg in the empty hole. I was intrigued…I had never seen this done before. I thought it was an awesome idea, and kept telling myself that I should try it sometime (yes, I did say I saw her make this a few years ago). Well, I finally tried it over the weekend, and I absolutely loved it!

Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: 1
– 2 slices of bread
– 2 eggs
– salt and pepper
– about 1 tbsp butter

Using a cup or round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the middle of each slice of bread. Make sure whatever you use to cut the hole is small enough so there is some bread and crust around the hole. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once the surface is hot, melt the butter over the entire surface. Place each piece of toast down on the griddle and immediately crack one egg into each hole. Season the egg with salt and pepper and leave it alone until the white begins to cook. Flip the bread and the egg once the egg is about half done (just like you would a fried egg — based on how you like them cooked). It will only need to cook for a minute or two on the second side (again, depending on how you like your eggs cooked). While the eggs are cooking, make sure to toast the cutouts so you can use them to dip in the yolk. Serve with bacon or sausage and glass of juice to make a complete breakfast!

Toad in the Hole with Bacon

This was totally awesome on so many levels. It was something different, for sure, but it was also a perfect balance of eggs and toast. I’m the kind of person that has to have toast with my eggs, so for me this was a great combo. The bread got a perfect toast on it in the time it took for the egg to cook, and the yolk was the perfect consistency to sop up with the cut out piece of bread. Frying the egg in the middle of toast also made it a million times easier to flip the egg without breaking the yolk, so that was a total plus! Toads in holes will definitely be in my collection of breakfast foods from now on.

I’m pretty sure blue corn pancakes are a Navajo tradition (at least certainly a New Mexico/southwestern thing). I’ve never tried them, but I’ve always been intrigued. There’s supposedly a restaurant in Santa Fe that has really great blue corn pancakes — they’ve even been featured on Food Network. Well, over the weekend I decided to try my luck at this Navajo tradition.

My go to guy for all things Southwestern (at least the one’s I’ve never tried) is Bobby Flay. I used his recipe for blue corn pancakes from his Mesa Grill cookbook, making a few minor changes. Bobby’s recipe includes an orange honey butter and cinnamon maple syrup, but I decided to make the pancakes only.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup blue corn (meal)
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 tsp salt
– 1/4 sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 2 tbsp butter, melted

Bobby’s recipe calls for blueberries, but I left them out (I did add some pine nuts to a few of the pancakes, though). If you’re going to use blueberries, or another kind of berry, fold one cup into the batter just before cooking.

Like almost all baking, combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, adding the milk and melted butter and whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Make sure not to over mix the batter, otherwise you’ll end up with flat pancakes (there should be some lumps in the batter).

Heat a non-stick griddle or large pan over medium-high heat and melt a small amount of butter before ladling the first pancake. Each pancake should be about 1/4 of a cup (or one ladle full) and will cook about one or two minutes on the first side and 30 seconds to one minute on the second side. You’ll know when they’re done based on the color (I’m sure you’ve all made pancakes before…). Keep the finished pancakes warm while continuing to cook by placing them in a 200 degree oven.

Blue Corn Pancakes with Pine Nuts

Blue Corn Pancakes with Pine Nuts

Blue corn pancakes…seriously? Amazing. While the taste wasn’t really very different from regular pancakes, you notice it in the texture. They’re still fluffy, but they’re a bit more dense and they have larger grains of corn meal (sort of like a corn muffin). I am a huge fan of pine nuts, but this is one dish I really didn’t like them in. Next time I would either add berries (I knew Bobby called for them for a reason!) or leave them plain. Other than that, no complaints here! I will most definitely be making these again and again, and I would suggest you try them too! As a plus, you can freeze the extra pancakes and they heat up pretty well.

I was able to find a recipe for Bobby’s blue corn pancakes on the Food Network Web site, but it’s a little different from the one in his Mesa Grill cookbook. Whatever recipe you use, I’m sure they’ll turn out delicious!