For the second half of my life, I’ve been listening to my friend Maggie describe the breakfast dish that is served at her family’s house each Easter, which they call “Jesus in the Tomb.” As I sit down to write this, though, I realize that I don’t have the foggiest idea of what is actually in the dish. I’ve always been too distracted by the name.
I think I’ve assumed that it refers to an egg cooked into a piece of toast, but I think it could also be that British thing where you cook a bunch of sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter. But that’s Toad-in-the-Hole, not “Jesus in the Tomb.” So it must be the thing with the egg. Egg-in-the-Hole, I assume?
At any rate, this dish perfectly illustrates Malcolm’s Culinary Rule of Escalating Cheeses, which states that anyplace a piece of toast is good, a grilled cheese is better, and that anyplace a grilled cheese is better, a pimiento cheese grilled cheese is even better than that.
Basically, you make a grilled cheese sandwich with some good homemade pimento cheese, except you cut a hole in the middle. You can use a cookie cutter, or the rim of a mason jar, or if you want to turbo-MacGyver it the way I did, you can use the metal ring that holds the lens in the old-timey flashlight that doesn’t work that you keep on top of the fridge.
While the sandwich grills, you can eat the perfectly round part that you cut out. That’s right: This sandwich makes you a sandwich while you make a sandwich, which is one of the most incredible traits a sandwich can have. As it cooks, you crack an egg in the middle, flip, and presto: All the melty goodness of a grilled cheese, with the added bonus of a runny egg yolk getting all over everything.
It makes a wonderful breakfast. I think you’ll thank me.
- 2 slices thin sandwich bread
- 2 tablespoons pimento cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- Spread the pimento cheese on a slice of the bread. Top with the second slice of bread.
- Using a cookie cutter or ring-shaped mold, cut a circle out of the middle. Begin eating the round portion immediately while you complete the following steps.
- In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt a tablespoon of the butter. Add the sandwich to the pan, then crack an egg in the center. Cover and cook for two minutes. Use a spatula to remove the sandwich from the pan, add the other tablespoon of butter, then flip the sandwich into the melted butter. Cook on the other side briefly, about 30 seconds for a runny yolk. Transfer to plate and serve immediately.