This is one of my absolute favorite foods in the world. I grew up eating it for dinner, even though it would traditionally be considered a breakfast dish.
It is also one of the recipes I struggled to learn, even though it really isn't too hard. Being a family recipe, there were no measurements recorded. My sauce got too thin, too thick, too thin, too thick...Until I had way to much of it and I was thoroughly frustrated.
After I went off to college and didn't live at home any more this was one of the things I always asked for when visiting. Finally, after living across the country for a couple if years, I learned to make it for myself.
It's pretty simple really. A peppery white gravy, like sausage gravy but we never made it with breakfast sausage, just butter. (You could definitely use sausage grease if you were making some.) With hard boiled eggs. All over toast.
(This recipe makes 2 servings with pretty generous helpings of sauce. That's how I like it, but it may make more servings for you if you like less, just add additional eggs.)
4 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
4 Tablespoons Butter Or Margarine
6 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups Milk
4 slices Bread (Not TOO Crusty)
Salt As Needed
Pepper To Taste
4 dashes Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
Hard boil the eggs. (I have had a lot of trouble getting hard boiled eggs just perfect. Recently I got this cool gadget, pictured with my eggs, from crate and barrel. It lets you know when your eggs are done by measuring how much heat it had absorbed. I waited until the whole egg turned black and they were just right.)
Peel eggs. Separate whites from yolks, slicing the whites into big chunks and reserving yolks. (If you are preparing this alone, it is a good idea to get the eggs to this point before starting the sauce.)
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat.
Add flour, whisking until smooth and thick.
Add 1 cup of milk. Whisk to completely combine. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue stirring constantly until it thickens. Add the remaining milk 1/4 cup at a time and allowing it to thicken before adding more each time.
If you are using white flour, keep repeating until the mixture is white like milk. If you are using whole wheat flour, look for all the yellow color from the butter to disappear.
This sauce is very forgiving. If it becomes overly thin to the point that it will not thicken enough, add 1/8 of a tablespoon more flour at a time. If you have already added the 2 cups of milk and it thickens up again while adding the spices, just add more milk a splash at a time. In the end, it should be the consistency of thick country gravy.
Use your non-stirring hand to toast the bread. Put two slices on each plate and top with the sliced egg whites.
Add salt, a little at a time. The amount will vary depending on whether you use salted or unsalted butter, but taste as you add because it will change from under-salted to overly salty very quickly.
Add pepper to taste. Lots of pepper. Cover the surface with ground pepper, mix, repeat three of four times. The gravy at this point should be quite peppery.
Add about 4 dashes of cayenne pepper, adjusting to taste. The goal is to have a good balance of heat and pepper. You should be able to taste both in the final sauce.
When sauce is done immediately spoon out to cover the toast.
Top it off with egg yolks, either simply crumbled and sprinkled, or worked through a fine strainer for fluffy, fine yolks.