Eggs are a part of our culinary life-blood. They are the perfect food. Eggs were the first food of The Progeny and they continue to be a favorite. The Spicy Honey loves a fried egg sandwich and he loves this one. It has a crispy cheese collar. What’s not to love? You know, I’ve been pondering “crispy cheese” recently, as I was picking little bits off the skillet before I washed it. You know, the little bits that drip off the cheeseburger and fall on the skillet. They get all lacy, crispy and crunchy. I guess that’s what got me thinking about this. This is really is simplicity itself. I don’t think we really need a recipe for this, do we? It’s really all about method or process, as the ingredients are simple and straight-forward…eggs, cheese, toast and maybe some onion or tomato. It doesn’t get much simpler or easier than that. For cheese I use the pre-shredded stuff in the bags. Yes, you can absolutely shred your own and I encourage you to do so, as it is much more economical and you can make your own combinations. I like the mac-and-cheese blend or the Mexican blend and I usually throw in some extra sharp cheddar. I’ve also done this with sharp cheddar alone. You’ll need about 1 to 1 1/2 cups. So, here we go….Heat a cast iron skillet of high heat. You’re going to heat it until you can put your hand NEAR the skillet and feel the warmth. Do not touch the skillet, as you may burn yourself. It takes my skillet about 90 seconds to get hot enough. While the skillet heats, put the bread in the toaster and thinly slice 1 scallion. You can a few slices of onion, if you prefer, or simply omit it completely. But really, why would you do that? It’s onion. It’s delicious. Squirt some oil or butter or a combination of the two in the center of the pan. You’ll use about 1-2 teaspoons. Sprinkle the scallion slices around the circle; let them cook for about 20 seconds. Lower the heat to medium. Break one or two eggs on top of the scallions. I use two eggs, because, well I just do. Remember, the love affair with eggs. Don’t worry, The Latin Lover knows all about it…we sort of have a threesome with eggs. Was that too much information? Probably. You want the egg yolks to remain pretty much in the center, close together. Know you can decided if you want to leave the yolks whole or break them. That’s up to you. I like them both ways, but this time I left them whole. Sprinkle the eggs with kosher salt and grindings of black pepper. I use quite a bit of pepper. Let the eggs cook for 1-2 minutes or until the whites just begin to set. If you prefer your eggs well-done (you know who you are, but I love you anyway!), leave them there longer. Push the toasted lever down, get the plate and flip the eggs over. I suppose you could flip them using the skillet. Apparently, it’s all in the wrist. I prefer to have my eggs land squarely on the toast, as opposed to the floor, so I’m sticking with the spatula. Lower the heat to medium-low; let the eggs cook for about a minute. Now, for the collar. Sprinkle the shredded cheese lightly over the eggs and then around the edge of the egg, directly on the skillet. I make a border of about 1 1/2-inches. You want the cheese to cover the skillet, but not to be too thick, or it won’t crisp up properly. Now let the cheese cook, about 2-3 minutes. You’ll notice there some fat coming out of the cheese. This is to be expected. Cheese has fat in it. When the edges of the cheese just begins to pick up some color and the cheese begins to look all melty good, turn off the heat. Leave it for about 30-60 seconds. Now, use your spatula and carefully begin to fold the cheese onto the egg(s). See the beautiful golden, crispy cheese. It’s looks so good; I may need a cigarette. Turn the cheese up in sections, all the way around the egg. You’ll probably do 4-5 “flips”. Place the toast on your plate. Plop the eggs, sporting their crispy cheese collar, on top of the toast. I don’t butter the toast because the cheese is rich enough and I don’t feel the sandwich needs it. If you want, squirt some sriracha, ketchup, mustard or whatever you desire on top. Cover with the second slice of bread, cut it in half and enjoy! That’s it.
The sandwich is excellent on multi-grain bread or tomato-basil (Panera at Home® which I can get at Stop n’ Shop or any decent supermarket). If you have a gluten issue, then use gluten-free bread toasted or omit the bread and serve on a bed of rice or potato patties. Eggs and rice go together like…well, eggs and rice.
As to “toppings”, some avocado or bacon slices are a nice addition and when the summer tomatoes are in, I slide a slice or two on. But, it’s pretty amazing as is.
We all love eggs in all their glorious and heavenly iterations. But, this…this is scrumptiously delicious. By the way, this works great with burgers…but that’s another post!