Folks, I’m embracing the Britishness! Today it hits again because I’m sharing with you a classic British breakfast that I’ve fallen in love with eating. This is often called boiled eggs and soldiers, but I prefer the name dippy eggs because well, that’s exactly what it is! A soft-boiled egg with a runny yolk for dipping thin pieces of bread (the soldiers) into. Dippy eggs!
Cultural influences just sneak up on you, and I guess now is about when I’ll probably start calling my cellphone my mobile (remember that Friends episode when Monica’s and Phoebe’s friend, Amanda Buffamonteezi, returned from London?). Forgive me Americans, but I’m not doing it just to sound cool ;) Yesterday was the first time I realized that I was actually becoming a bit more British when I stumbled over the spelling for Savory Muffins. Is there supposed to be an extra ‘u’ to make it a savoury muffin? Everything here is just starting to become a bit more familiar.
I did a bit of asking around why these are actually called eggs and soldiers. The best explanation I got was that the strips of bread are lined up like soldiers. There are some vague Humpty Dumpty explanations floating around too. Humpty Dumpty is supposed to be the dippy egg while “all the kings men” are the soldiers. An even stranger explanation I heard though, is that when you dip the strips of bread into the dippy egg, it looks like an upside down Beefeater (those iconic guards outside the Tower of London). What do you think?
This recipe is made with grilled cheese soldiers because cheese just makes it that much more yummy! To be honest, I don’t think I’m fully integrated yet into the British culture because I love putting cheese on everything. And whenever I start piling on the cheese, they all start going off about how Americans put cheese on everything. Ha! I laugh at that because it strikes so true in my own life :) I don’t know if it really is an American thing, or just a me-thing, but it is a d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s thing!
So here you go, a twist on the British classic dippy eggs and soldiers. Give it a try with grilled cheese and you won’t regret! Plus, if you run out of the dippy egg, the grilled cheese soldiers are good on their own. There’s a little less cheese than I would normally put in a grilled cheese sandwich, but that’s intentional because otherwise the cheese overpowers the yolky goodness from the dippy egg.
Dippy Eggs and Grilled Cheese SoldiersPrint Recipe
- A little oil - to grease the pan
- 1 knob salted butter
- 2 slices of rustic bread - sliced no thicker than 1/2 inch (1 cm) each (I used a whole wheat sourdough)
- 3 thin slices medium cheddar cheese (about 40 grams) - roughly broken up into large pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 tomato - chopped
- 2 large eggs
To make the grilled cheese soldiers
- Add some oil to a grill pan, and preheat the pan on medium-high heat (a frying pan works too).
- Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread, dividing the butter evenly between the two slices of bread.
- Place the cheese and tomatoes on one of the slices of bread, with the buttered side face down. Top with the other slice of bread, with the buttered side face up.
- Carefully transfer the sandwich onto the grill pan once it is hot. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, then gently press down with a spatula and cook for about another 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
- Flip the sandwich. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, then gently press down with a spatula and cook for another 1-2 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is thoroughly melted.
- Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly until you can handle it.
- Slice the sandwich into strips about 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide.
To make the soft-boiled eggs
- Bring the eggs to room temperature. To do this quickly, set the eggs in a warm bowl of water for about 10 minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to boil, then turn the heat down so it is just boiling.
- Slowly lower the eggs into the water with a slotted spoon.
- Cook for 1 minute, then cover the pot and remove from heat. Let it sit for 4 minutes. Use a timer for this step so you don't overcook the egg.
- Carefully remove the eggs using a slotted spoon and transfer to egg cups.
To serve the Dippy Eggs and Soldiers
- Lightly tap the top of the eggs with a spoon until it cracks. Spoon off the top 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the egg, so you can see the yolk.
- Serve with the grilled cheese solders for dipping.