Egg sandwiches are under-rated. It only took 55 years for me to realize that, but of all the things I know I am now most sure about this: as a quick prep meal and pure energy kick and joy nothing beats an egg sandwich. Of course, I am not talking about any egg sandwich. First, forget about those that begin with Mc or are perfectly round and just a bit softer than a hockey puck. Second, only include those that do due diligence to the egg, that is, the egg must be focal and everything else recognizes that and is done out of this recognition. So with those caveats, here is what works best (for me):
- Whole wheat bread toasted in butter in a skillet.
- Swiss or provolone cheese because they know how to melt and won’t overpower the egg. Actually, any cheese that doesn’t overpower the egg will work. We just always seem to have Swiss and/or provolone.
- An egg or two, fried so that the yoke is over medium but the egg white edges are crispy or at least brown. The yoke must be translucent and fluid, yet sticky to the touch and, well, messy.
I fry the egg first and then set it aside. In the same skillet, I toast the slices of wheat bread, with the cheese on one slice, in melted butter for about 45 seconds at medium heat. Then I place the egg on the cheese and the second piece of bread on the egg.
I continue toast the bread, doing each side for about three minutes on medium, which usually gives the bread a nice toasty crispness that when bitten into releases the butter that the bread has absorbed.
Unlike with a grilled cheese, you can’t use a spatula to flatten the sandwich and expedite the cheese melt. Any pressure on the bread will rupture the yokes and send it flowing into the skillet.
Protect the yoke at all costs!!!!
Part of the thrill of eating an egg sandwich is having yoke explode out the side of the sandwich with the first or second bite. At that point, you alternate between taking a bite and licking the yoke off the edges of the sandwich and your hand. The goal is not to let the yoke run anywhere else, like on your chin or your shirt (or chest if you’re shirtless) while eating as slowly as possible to get the fullest enjoyment out of the sandwich.
If you must, against my advice, include anything else on the sandwich, I recommend a fresh tomato or arugula. If you add ham, bacon, or sausage, well, it is no longer an egg sandwich. Although it still might taste great, it is now a meat sandwich with an egg on it, akin to a burger with a fried egg on top (which I recommend for all burgers).
And if you must have a side, try a salad and only a salad, simply done with vinaigrette dressing. No other sides are needed. If an egg sandwich and salad aren’t enough, make another egg sandwich.