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‘Nduja Eggy Bread / ‘Nduja French Toast

by Alex Mugan on July 31, 2021

When you really feel like a cooked breakfast, but you don’t want to feel like you had a cooked breakfast. You know how it is, sausage, bacon, eggs, mushroom, beans, toast, etc. it comes at a cost. Sometimes though, you need a hit of something savoury in the morning, and then Hans, bubby, this is your white knight.

This breakfast is reasonably light, it’s quick to make, can be smartened up with easy extras and it brings the mix of pork, savoury and spice that sometimes, well, sometimes you just have to have. And it’s super simple. We’re talking about the classic eggy bread, with a hit of ‘nduja sausage to take it somewhere special.

Before we dive in, a note on a couple of the ingredients. First, the bread. I’m really in the eggy bread camp, rather than French toast. This is quick, childhood stuff for me, so there’s no brioche-ing around involved. Also, from a practical point of view, I prefer to use white bread or 50:50 for this because it absorbs the beaten egg better. I’ve tried it with sourdough, but it just doesn’t soak up as much egg, and is consequently less tasty. Vary the bread if you like, it’s your kitchen, but in mind we keep the bread in this basic - it’s the ‘nduja that takes it up a level anyway.

Second, butter or olive oil. Butter makes this rich and delicious. If you’re out to blow minds, go for it. For me, though, it doesn’t suffer from the use of olive oil, and I usually bank a ‘less healthy meal’ token for another time by frying my eggy bread in that.

The recipe


Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 x slices of white bread or 50:50 bread
  • 2 x tbsp ‘nduja
  • 3 x eggs
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil or butter for frying


Method

  1. Put a pan on a medium heat. Don’t push the temperature because by the time the bread cooks the ‘nduja will burn if it’s too high.
  2. Get a warm plate somewhere to put the cooked eggy bread, unless you can get all four slices in the pan at once.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat in half of the ‘nduja, keeping the rest back for now.
  4. Soak the first two slices of bread in the egg mix until it’s both coated and soaked in, but not falling apart.
  5. Add your olive oil or butter to the pan and lift in the soaked bread, letting the excess egg mix fall back into the bowl before you transfer to the pan.
  6. Fry on one side for a minute or so, until the bread begins to brown. Turn the slices over.
  7. Put your next two slices of bread in to soak up some egg mix.
  8. Spread a share of the remaining ‘nduja on the browned side of your bread in the pan.
  9. After a minute or so on the other side, flip the bread back over to fry off the ‘nduja for 30 seconds.
  10. Spread another share of the ‘nduja on the second side and turn again to fry it off for about 30 seconds.
  11. Repeat the process to cook your remaining slices of soaked bread.
  12. Serve it up and make a breakfast friend for life.


Serving it with?

I could eat this dish on its own all day, but there are a good many good things lining up to join it on the plate. Here are a few of them:

A majority of eggy bread aficionados are partial to a dollop of ketchup, which works really well in this context too. You might find a bit of beaten egg and ‘nduja remains once the bread has been eggied. At that point, this remnant should be scrambled and eaten.


As pancetta plays well in pasta sauces with ‘nduja, so too does it, and bacon too, with ‘nduja eggy bread. Just because you could be having a lighter sort of cooked breakfast, it doesn’t mean you should.

And now for something completely different. The spice and savoury of ‘nduja loves a bit of sweet, and what better way to get it than the classic pairing of porkiness and melon? Some small melon dice, on the side or on the top, freshens up the dish beautifully.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with a bit of dairy. If your audience doesn’t love spice equally, or you yourself need an avenue of retreat from heat in the morning, dairy will do the job. In Italy, you might have tomatoes and little pearls of mozzarella among the breakfast dishes. Those work well here. Or achieve the same on a British theme with something like Cornish Yarg. A third route would be cream cheese or ricotta, in a little side dish, to be deployed as needed.

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