The other day, my brother and I were talking about fish sandwiches. (Weird opening sentence, I know.) He informed me that the café where he works serves a sandwich called the Son of Salmon, to which I replied, “. . . wait, what?!” I spent the next hour brainstorming sandwich names for my future food cart, Killer Sandwiches. The ToasTed Bundy. The Jarls Manson. (Should I be concerned by how much this amuses me?) Anyway, I tried to come up with a similarly-themed name for this sandwich, because “egg in the basket” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. And also because I need to counterbalance the lameness I’ve created by doing two Valentine’s Day posts in a row. Alas, I’ve got nothing. (Only so much time can be spent pondering serial killer-themed names before it becomes undeniably disturbing.) So if anyone has suggestions, I’m open to them! Until then, Egg in the Basket it is.
Traditionally, the way to make this is to assemble the sandwich, cut out the center, then crack an egg into the middle once you begin grilling. This leads to a somewhat indiscernible fried egg blob in the middle of the sandwich (and, if you’re not careful, a broken egg yolk). My solution was to grill the sandwich on one side, then cut out the center, flip the sandwich, add the egg, and cook it sunny side up. This method, however, comes with its own set of problems. The main issue: too much egg white. For me, the excess white meant having to cook the egg for a long time, and resulted in a very burnt sandwich bottom. To solve this, I would suggest separating the white from the yolk, adding just enough to cover the surface area of the hole, then adding the yolk. This should yield a properly-cooked egg and an unburnt sandwich. Alternatively, if you use a cookie cutter to cut out the center, you could grill the sandwich normally, cut out the middle, then place the cookie cutter in the pan, crack the egg inside it, and place it in the center of the sandwich when it’s finished. The egg won’t be one with the sandwich, but it will save you from burnt sandwich/uncooked egg anxieties.
Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket
The ingredients are pretty self-explanatory and customizable, so I’m not going to bother listing them. I made mine with cheddar and fig jam, and you can throw in whatever you (or, more accurately, the lucky recipient) would like. I was definitely jonesing for some ham with this. You can’t go wrong with ham, egg, and cheese!
Assemble your sandwich, then butter one side of the bread. Separate the egg white and yolk into two bowls. Place the sandwich, buttered-side-down, in a pan over medium heat and grill until golden brown, then remove.
Butter the uncooked side of the sandwich. Using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the center. Lower the heat slightly, then return both pieces of the sandwich to the pan, uncooked-side-down. Add just enough egg white to fill the bottom of the empty sandwich center, then carefully slip the egg yolk into the center.
Cover the pan (this will help the egg cook quicker and melt the cheese) and let everything cook for a couple minutes, checking regularly after one minute to make sure nothing is burning. Once the egg appears to be cooked, immediately remove the sandwich and serve!