Asparagus Topped Eggs with Hats is a glammed up version of one of my favorite childhood breakfasts! It will become a new favorite of yours with your first bite!
Also known as Toad in the Hole, Egg in a Basket along with 60+ variations, it’s basically pan fried toast with a round cut out to place an egg. Adding a cheese sauce and asparagus, make for an easy, elegant breakfast that’s worthy of company!
Asparagus Topped Eggs with Hats
Well, “favorite” childhood breakfasts might be a big of an exaggeration. I begged my mom to make extra hats, which were just rounds of bread sauteed in butter. My carb obsession started at a young age. But before I digress any further, I may need to educate a few of you on eggs with hats. This British breakfast dish known by many names is basically an egg cooked in the center of a slice of bread where a round of bread has been removed. Those cutouts became the hats! Thus the name.
Tips for Making a Toad in the Hole
At our house, my English major mother called these Egg with Hats On. Pesky improper preposition! Since then I’ve learned that Toad in the Hole is a more common name as well as Eggs in a Basket, Cowboy Eggs, plus numerous other variations.
- Butter your bread with salted butter. Don’t think about using margarine and the flavor of real butter is best.
- Cold eggs are much easier to break than room temperature eggs. If you don’t want yolk in your whites, try an egg right out of the refrigerator.
- For a more basic version, skip the sauce and serve with a nice side of bacon or sausage.
- Choose whatever kind of bread you prefer. My mom would use sandwich bread, and I love an eggy challah. For a slightly healthier option, whole wheat or whole grain bread would be a hearty alternative.
I cooked these up over Easter weekend for Bill and Nick, who was home a short 24 hours. Both were immediate fans, though Nick gave me his asparagus! If you like fried eggs, give this fun recipe a try for your family or next weekend guests!
More Brunch Recipes You’ll Love:
- The Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- Buttermilk Banana Bread
- Classic Pumpkin Bread
- Fresh Fruit Salad
- Spinach Fritatta
- Sun-dried Tomato Quiche
- Grand Marnier Mimosas
- More Brunch Recipes
For Cheese Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon Wondra flour (all purpose is fine, too, but Wondra is less likely to get lumpy)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup warm milk, plus more to thin if needed
- 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar, I used Cabot's Seriously Sharp Aged Cheddar Cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
For Eggs with Hats:
- 2 slices bread, I used challah
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more if needed
- 2 eggs
- 2-4 spears roasted or steamed asparagus, at room temperature (Michigan asparagus is fabulous in season!), cut in half if needed.
- Grated sharp cheddar cheese, to garnish
- Cayenne pepper, to garnish, if desired
- Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, while continuing to whisk. Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth and thick. Strain the sauce, then add cheeses and whisk to combine. Return sauce to pan. Set aside.
- Cut a round of bread out of each slice using a shot glass or cookie/biscuit cutter.
- Heat butter in a medium saute pan. Add bread slices and bread rounds.
- Break an egg into the middle of each slice of bread. Cover pan with lid for a couple minutes until the egg starts to set. Remove lid and check hats to see if they're browned. When they're browned, flip all the bread to brown the other sides, adding more butter if needed.
- Once the second side is browned, remove to plates, top with asparagus.Check the cheese sauce. If it is too thick, thin with a little milk and reheat if necessary. Top the asparagus with cheese sauce, more cheese and a sprinkle of cayenne, if desired. Then perch the "hat" over the egg.
- Serve immediately.