stuffed toads in the hole with smoked salmon, goat cheese, spinach, bacon and a truffle mayo

New Years this year, had a more poignant meaning to me. I’ve had some health struggles that stemmed from a simple (or rather, common) gallbladder removal surgery that had me in and out of the hospital spanning four months. To say I was thankful to turn the page into the new year was an understatement.

I was elated.

I decided to start our New Years Eve with a brunch to end all brunches: Stuffed Toads in the Hole – one of my husband’s favorites with some of his favorite ingredients. This felt decadent and yet took no time at all.

You Will Need:

* Bread (we used a whole wheat bread just because that’s what we had – use whatever bread you prefer)

* Smoked Salmon

* Butter

* Bacon

* Basil (I used the semi-dry you can find in the produce section, I prefer it now over the leaves that bruise so easily but, dry basil would work as well)

* Goat Cheese (we always try to get a chive and onion or otherwise herbed goat cheese)

* Spinach

* Truffle Mayo (if you can find it – regular mayo and truffle oil would work as well)

* Micro Greens (gotta get your greens in! I used broccoli microgreens)

* Avocado

* Eggs (we use large / extra large – we don’t have eggs often so we like a larger size when we do, and we always get them pasture raised)

Start by plopping some butter into your pan on medium to melt, and then take your bread and rip little circle holes with your fingers right in the middle of each one. Place the bread into the pan. Crack an egg into each hole.

I had already cooked my bacon, so make sure you either get pre-cooked bacon or have it already cooked when you prepare this meal. Take each slice and rip in half. Place one half slice over each egg, then top the bacon with two clumps each of the goat cheese.

Finally, layer with some spinach. You will not have used any salt or pepper as there is enough flavor going on and it’s nice to know you won’t need it – don’t forget you’re adding smoked salmon and that has salt.

Place the lid over the pan and wait a few minutes. Then take your spatula and when you can tell that the bread and egg mixture can be lifted and flipped “safely” go ahead and do that so you can “cook” (rather, heat / melt) the other side with the cheese and bacon. Because you had the lid on, the spinach wilted a bit into the mixture and will keep things secure.

Leave the lid off. While that continues to melt (on medium low now) – prep your salmon. Take your slices and depending on how many people you are feeding, set aside the layers you’re going to use for each slice of bread.

We found this truffle mayo in our favorite spice shop, you can always order online wherever you trust the most.

For plating, I placed two slices of stuffed bread per person, layered with the smoked salmon, then a dollop of truffle mayo along with a slice of avocado. I then topped with some of the semi-dried basil and a side of broccoli micro-greens.

We enjoyed this brunch with a glass (or two) of champagne, some fresh fruit and an orange for good luck!

I hope you too, had a wonderful start to the new year!

Honeycomb Plates and Napkins from Williams Sonoma, Glasses from Crate and Barrel

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