Big Girls, Test Kitchen: On Egg Sandwiches
DISH: Egg Sandwiches
EVENT: Breakfasts and Lunches Galore
MAIN INGREDIENT: Egg, Bread, Cheese
This is mainly a photo-gallery ode to one of the most delicious, satisfying meals out there: the egg and cheese sandwich. We’ve featured it before, in dishes like the famous Spinach-Pie Quesadilla, the savory Eggs in Piperade “Pizzas,” and Baked Eggs with Tofu Croutons. And over time we’ve tweaked it too, serving eggs with potatoes instead of bread, in mouth-watering brunch fare like Hash Brown One-Eyes and Soft Scrambled Eggs with Samosas.
But what I’ve been eating more of, recently, are simple, cooking-for-one sandwiches. Still, knowing me, these sandwiches are rarely if ever straightforward, and all of these assemblies have some extra shot of flavor, sometimes unexpected, sometimes just what the doctor ordered. What follows are three sets of guidelines for egg-and-cheese sandwiches: one with a fried egg, one with a sliced, hardboiled egg, and one with a rectangular vegetable and sausage frittata. All can be varied to suit anyone’s particularities on the quest for egg-and-cheese sandwich perfection. Enjoy!
From my kitchen, yolky and satisfying, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Fried Egg Sandwich
The most classic of the bunch
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper
2 slices bread
1 teaspoon butter
1 slice cheddar cheese
Toast the bread. Meanwhile, fry the egg in olive oil, as in this recipe, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the egg is nearly done–I like to leave the yolk oozy–remove the toast from the toaster, spread them with butter and the slice of cheddar. Top with the egg, which will melt the cheese, and eat.
Hard-Boiled Egg Sandwich
Then comes a great bagged-lunch version. Its flavors–mustard and egg–are reminiscent of the classic egg-salad sandwich, but its texture is far more interesting, neither gluey nor homogeneous. A tomato would be nice on this too.
1 hard-boiled egg*
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1 slice of jack or harvarti cheese
2 slices of bread
Slice the egg crosswise into 1/8-1/4″ slices. Thin the mustard with the cream and spread on one side of one piece of bread. Top with the slice of cheese and the egg rounds. Top with the second slice of bread. Wrap well and set aside for at least an hour
*to hard boil: place eggs in a saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When water boils, turn off the flame, then let eggs sit in the water until it has reached room temperature. Remove the eggs and peel to eat immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Spinach-Sausage Fritatta Sandwich
This version was made for a delicious, late-lunch picnic when I went hiking amidst the beautiful foliage in the Hudson Valley one Sunday. In fact, the filling was left over from a pasta dish I’d made the night before, which blocked my way as I opened the fridge to reach for the PB&J. It struck me that it would make a great sandwich filling if mixed with egg. The second rush of inspiration was to use my spatula to form the eggs into the shape of the bread. This way, I had no awkward overhangs or waste to contend with.
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons pine nuts
1/2 favorite sausage: veggie, chicken, or pork, diced
1/4 cup frozen spinach
2 sundried tomatoes, cut into strips
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce grated Parmesan
2 slices of bread
Preheat the broiler.
In a 6″ nonstick skillet, saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium low heat until nearly golden, 3-4 minutes. Add the pine nuts and toast for another 3 minutes, then add the sausage and cook until it is warmed through and crispy. Add the spinach and sundried tomato strips and cook until the spinach has melted and boiled off its excess water. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Meanwhile stir together the egg and egg white until well beaten. Season with the salt and a grind or two of pepper.
Pour the eggs over the sauteeing vegetable mixtures, then immediately turn off the heat. Cook the eggs through by pulling the sides down towards the bottom. When the eggs have firmed up, use the spatula to form them into a bread-shaped rectangle.
Sprinkle with the cheese, then cook until the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the fritatta is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Cool to room temperature before sandwiching between two slices of bread (if you’re not packing it, you can eat it warm).