Okay, so let’s talk about the name of this dish for a second. Toad-in-the-Hole is not only a somewhat unappetizing title, but it’s also historically inaccurate. This British dish became popular in the early 18th century and was traditionally made with sausages baked into Yorkshire pudding, giving it the look of a toad poking it’s head out of a hole. But somewhere along the way us sneaky Americans took that dish, changed it up, and made it our own; very much like driving on the wrong side of the road, scrapping the metric system for the super confusing Imperial system, and removing the “e” from the ends of words like theater (this one actually makes sense, “theatre” should be pronounced thee-ah-trey, should it not? I think we’ve got you on this one, Brits.). Soooo…in our quest to gain independence from England and establish ourselves as a new nation, we swapped the sausages for eggs and the Yorkshire pudding for toast, and Bam! we instantly became leaders of the free world. Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way, but close enough.
Toad-in-the-Hole over Sautéed Kale, Bacon, and Leeks
- 4 slices of thick cut bacon (preferably Applewood smoked), diced
- 1 (4-inch) slice of leek
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 10-12 kale leaves, center stem removed and leaves roughly torn (or 2-3 cups of torn spinach or another hearty green)
- 2 Tbsp water
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 large slices of bread (I like marble rye, but any type of bread will do)
- 2 large eggs
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Slice leek in half lengthwise, then slice into thin strips. Plunge leeks into a bowl of water and swirl around to remove any dirt that may be trapped in the fine layers of skin. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a clean towel. Fold the towel over itself and queeze gently to remove excess water.
Using a biscuit cutter or juice glass, cut a hole in the center of each piece of bread, reserving center pieces.
In a heavy skillet set over medium heat, sautée bacon until just starting to brown. Add leeks, garlic, and kale, tossing frequently until the greens start to wilt and the leeks and garlic begin to turn golden. Add water and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the greens are soft. Divide kale mixture between two warm plates and wipe skillet clean with a paper towel.
Return skillet to medium heat and add butter until melted, swirling to coat the pan. Place bread and center piece in the skillet and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip bread and crack an egg in the hole of each slice of bread and continue to cook until the white is set but the yolk is still runny, another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully transfer Toad-in-the-Hole over kale mixture and serve with reserved center piece for dipping.
Chew on that, England! Just kidding. Sort of.