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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One-Eyed Sailors

Nestled in a valley, just off the highway in Mt. Vernon, Washington lies a quaint restaurant called Calico Cupboard. Impeccable service, charming ambience, and they sell cinnamon rolls as big as your head. What’s not to love?

On their breakfast menu, they have an item called the “One-Eyed Sailor”. You might be unfamiliar with the term. This dish is known by many names, including, but not limited to: Eggs in a Basket, Rocky Mountain Toast, Egg in a Boat, Bird's Nest, Pharaoh’s Eye, Egg in the Window, Eggs in a Bucket, Egg Toast, Moon Egg, One-Eyed Jack, Egg in the Hole, Hen in a Nest, One-Eyed Monster Breakfast, Cowboy Egg, Egg in a Frame, Frog in a Hole and/or Toad in a Hole.

Regardless, the concept is simple: get a slice of bread. Punch a hole in it. Fry an egg in the hole. Profit!

Whenever I’m passing through Mt. Vernon with friends (most likely on our way to beautiful Bellingham, WA), I stop in at Calico Cupboard for a late breakfast and order me up a One-Eyed Sailor. It’s just the right size for a late-morning breakfast – not too filling, but not miniscule. Plus, it’s fun to order! "Bring me a one-eyed sailor, mate!"

The other day I got to thinking, “Why not make my own One-Eyed Sailors at home??” So I did. And this is the result.

One-Eyed Sailors

1 slice of thick bread
1 egg
Grated cheese
Non-stick cooking spray (if you’re health conscious) or Butter (if you’re a purist)

Using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or any other relatively round utensil, cut a hole in the center of your bread. Reserve the cut-out for later use.

Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray OR melt butter in your pan over medium-high heat. Slop your holey bread in the butter juice. Crack your egg in the center of the hole. Let it sit a bit until the egg firms up. Gently turn the bread over, being careful not to puncture the yolk of the egg, OR stick it under the broiler for a few minutes so the top gets cooked. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Stick your little bread cut-out on top of the egg as a "hat". Serve and devour.

+ I used Panera’s tomato-basil bread, sliced thick, and sharp Tillamook Cheddar cheese.

+ Provolone, Mozzarella, Aged White Cheddar, Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano would also work well.

+ So would different kinds of bread. You can make this dish whatever you want it to be!

+ I also used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make the hole in my bread. Because I’m schmoopy like that.

Yum! One-Eyed Sailors on the high seas! What d’ya call this dish in YOUR house, me hearties?


  1. we call 'em 'egg in a nest' or 'one-eyed egyptian' :)

  2. My mom has been making these for me since I was small. She actually made a painting of all the names we have heard it called! Here they are:
    One eyed egyptian (my favorite)
    Egg special
    Cowboy hat
    Bull's eye

    Needless to say, she is VERY excited to now make another painting with all the new names!

  3. We called them wagon wheels. :)

  4. One eyed Egyptian sailor on a raft and wreck him(poke the yolk). And yes, we usually called them eggs Alabama and I'm from Phila. Didn't realize it was so colloquial. JC.

  5. we used to call them cowboy eggs and instead of cheese we added ketchup and cooked it for a bit with it. the cooked ketchup added a lot of flavor

  6. I grew up hearing them called "Eggs in Space"

    Sounds mouth watering with the Panera Tomato Basil Bread

  7. We grew up with these! Still one of my favorite comfort foods. It wasn't until just a few years back that I thought my Mom invented "Egg in a Basket"!

  8. In Australia we call them "Bog in a hole!"

  9. We call them eggs in a nest at my house. That is what I will forever call it.

  10. My dad used to make these for me. We always called the dish a Bird's Nest.