June 1, 2003

Gashouse Eggs

Lunch yesterday...I ran across this in the March 2003 issue of Saveur Magazine. Since poached eggs over toast were one of the great comfort foods of my childhood, I had to try these out. Simple, but very tasty, and great for an under-the-weather afternoon.

The recipe in the magazine calls for using a skillet, but I opt to use my small griddle instead:

Spray griddle lightly with non-stick spray. Butter bread lightly and pan-toast both sides on the griddle. As the second side starts to brown, use an inverted glass to cut out a circle in the middle of the slice. Set cutout aside on the griddle. Melt a small dollop of butter in the hole, crack an egg into the hole, and cook until set, about 2-3 minutes. Lightly flip if you prefer your eggs over easy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with cutout for dipping. Serves 1.

Of course, I gather they're not supposed to be called gashouse eggs...According to the article, it's a mispronounciation of Gasthaus eggs, perhaps popular to serve at German bed-and-breakfasts or inns. They've apparently also been dubbed: eggs in a bonnet, bird's nest eggs, knothole eggs, one-eyed jacks, and many other unusual names.

Posted by Jennifer at June 1, 2003 10:22 AM

Gashouse eggs became one of our family's standards in the 1940's after my grandmother and mother attended a movie in which a man prepares gashouse eggs for his lady friend. When I married I introduced them to my husband. Later my children did the same in their households. I recently visited my grandson at his fraternity house, and learned they cook gashouse eggs in the house kitchen when they come in late from a party.
A similar recipe has become known as Moonstruck eggs, with Italian bread and Italian seasoning, after having been prepared in the movie "Moonstruck". I'd love to know the name of the old movie in which the gashouse eggs we knew were prepared, also the names of the stars.

Posted by: Jene Gravley at May 16, 2004 2:56 PM

I remember with great foundness Gas House eggs from my childhood. I could not remember what they were called. I recently asked my older sister what they were called. She responded with "Gas House Eggs". I have passed this culinary secret on to my 9 year old grandson. We cook them every morning after a sleep over. I presented him with his own special glass for cutting the holes in the bread. I prefer breaking the yolks because I like my yolks more on the firm side.

Submitted by:

Bert Belfer
CW3 US Army (retired)

Posted by: Bert Belfer at February 21, 2005 10:36 AM

I believe the 1941 movie is Moon Over Miami starring Betty Grable. The old guy in the kitchen shows Betty Grable how to make gashouse eggs. Also, there is a book called Remembering Kate which is about Katharine Hepburn and she talks about having gashouse eggs. It was a very popular thing to have in the 1940's.

Posted by: Timothy Dekofski at January 2, 2006 11:56 AM

I got a kick out of seeing this breakfast in the movie "V for Vendetta".

"What is that they're making?" asked my normally quiet husband.
"That's a 'Moon over Miami" I replied with a laugh full of memories of before we met.
"It looks really good." He said
"I'll have to make it for you sometime" I told him. (BTW the movie was very good.)

I remember having these back in the 1980's. Ruth at "The Nitch" (no longer in existance)in Minneapolis would make them for her diverse group of customers. She said an old boyfriend used to make them for her, and when she opened up her tiny greasy spoon, she put them on the menu, and they were quite popular.

She called them "Moon Over Miami". Now I know why.

Posted by: Paula at April 8, 2006 6:51 AM

I am recovering from surgery and decided that I wanted something differet for breakfast so I made myself "gashouse eggs."

I remember my dad making them for special occations in the 60's and 70's.

I like to put the buttered hole back in the center on top of the egg before I turn them over to cook the second side.

Posted by: Tom at August 30, 2006 11:59 AM

My mother (b. 1913) from Baltimore, Md taught me about gashouse eggs. It seemed to be a commonly known meal to her but she had no sure knowledge as to how the name originated. There was speculation that it refered to a simple food that could be served at a bar. Then a few years ago I took a boat tour of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY and one of the structures we passed was a gashouse. Basically it was a shed right there on the waterfront. Considering this canal is pre WWI,(Gowanus has been there for thousands of years) at that time in that area there were few if any restaurants so one would need to bring food to work. What is simpler than a piece of bread and an egg and it would be inexpensive. How much money could one make watching barges coming and going in the canal? Get a few people in that shed and cook a few eggs and it might even give some warmth to the shed.

Posted by: Margaret at February 17, 2007 5:33 AM

My mother (in Michigan) always made my brothers, sister and me these eggs when we were growing up. To make them "kid friendly" she called them "chicky in a nest". Since moving the the UK, I've made them for many of my British friends who absolutely adore them!!

Posted by: Leigh at August 17, 2007 11:35 AM

Gashouse eggs were a favorite in my family when I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s, and continued to be with me, my sister, and later her husband. The story was that my parents saw them being made in a movie, and called Gashouse Eggs in the movie. I was interested to see them being made in the movie "Moonstruck," with no reference to them. So I assumed they were an Italian breakfast.

Posted by: Melanie Hill at September 4, 2007 7:24 PM

We called it egg in a hole, when I was young, in the 60s. I started eating breakfast recently now that I run in the morning. I casually once mentioned to my girlfriend via email what I had for breakfast, describing how I made them. She started screaming, that she made them also, and never thought anyone else made eggs this way.

I asked my mother where she got the idea from and she said my grandmother on my dad's side, who made it in the 30s and 40s....

Posted by: Charlie B at October 5, 2007 4:37 PM

I love it, love it, love it! I saw the same movie as a little girl and has been crazy about it ever since. Wonderful film about a broke girl traveling to Miami with her aunt and sister to snag a rich husband by pretending to be rich herself. One of Betty Grable's many musicals. Gashouse eggs have been a staple in my home ever since I saw it. I have many of my own recipes framed around my kitchen and added gashouse eggs thinking no one would remember this from an old 1941 movie! hahaha now i got to take it down for copyright infringement. Good to know Im not the only person that enjoy them.
Love the "Chicky in a Nest" line.

Posted by: yvette at August 10, 2008 5:49 PM

Wow. My mother used to make me gas house eggs when Ii was growing up and I'm only 41 years old. I didn't realize that other people called them that. I loved to eat the round piece of grilled bread from the center. Yummy!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Don at November 28, 2008 4:18 PM

My grandmother made these for me and my cousins when we were young (I'm 35 now). She called them Gashouse Eggs, and I remember loving them. Just woke up with a craving for them, and haven't made them in several years. I also love the center cut out. Well, off to the stove I go!

Posted by: Jason at March 25, 2009 7:33 AM

My father made these for me but he used a different recipe I cant find, really not anything too difficult, he just put a thin slice of beefsteak tomato (or any big slicing tomato) and a slice of cheese on top, it's strange to find out that most gashouse egg recipes are only egg and bread

Posted by: Jim at October 4, 2010 11:40 AM
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