Alex * Gashouse Eggs, Cali-Style
Alex: “When I was younger, my parents showed me how to cook a variety of breakfast items, but the one that really stuck with me was the “gashouse egg,” or egg in a basket. I liked the idea of cooking everything together in one pan with the egg becoming part of the bread. Over time, I began experimenting with putting meat and cheese on it, but it never felt complete. Then years ago, I began eating avocado and hot sauce with bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches and realized that those flavors could be applied to the gashouse egg.
The flavors of this dish came from several iterations over time, and the implementation is my solution to finding the most cohesive method for keeping the ingredients gelled together. The avocado spread not only adds a good California-style flavor, but also helps the ham and cheese stick to the bread. Also, I took a page out of my wife’s book by saving the circular bread cutouts. However, rather than placing the cutouts on top, I put them on the bottom to keep the ham and bread slightly elevated (ensuring it doesn’t stick to the skillet). Finally, baking makes everything taste better, and this recipe is certainly no exception.”
Three Quick Questions…and Alex’s Answers
It’s your last meal. What do you have?
Bring me the heaviest, meatiest, red-sauced pasta dish.
Your kitchen is burning down. What’s the one thing you grab?
Do you have a favorite cookbook?
Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites. Giada has a very good take on Italian food, and her recipes are always delicious.
- FOR THE AVOCADO SPREAD:
- olive oil
- 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 whole shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne
- FOR THE GASHOUSE EGGS:
- 4 slices of your favorite bread
- 4-8 slices swiss cheese
- 4-8 slices honey-maple ham
- olive oil
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a ovenproof skillet over low heat. While heating, add the avocado and lime juice to a small bowl and toss together.
- Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until lightly brown, then add the pepper and cook for about 30 more seconds. Pour into the bowl of avocado along with the salt, cumin, and cayenne. Mash and mix into the consistency of a spread.
- Using a shot glass, small cookie cutter or a knife, cut circles into the bread slices, reserving the removed pieces. Spread the avocado mixture on top of the bread. Layer the cheese, more avocado spread, and ham—in that order—on top of the bread. Finally, coat one side of the removed circular bread pieces with the avocado spread and place that side down on the center of the bread (on top of the ham).
- Add a splash of olive oil to the same skillet as before, making sure the bottom is fully coated in the oil. Return the bread to the skillet, ham-side down. Very carefully, crack an egg into the circular holes of the bread, making sure that they stay entirely on the bread. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until the egg-whites are cooked through and yolks are still runny.
- Serve with the remaining avocado spread and hot sauce on the side.