Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese

By Paul Briand

This was love at first bite. No, it was love even earlier than that: Love at first sight when I saw the recipe on the web.

I’m a big fan of breakfast sandwiches that include an egg and whatever processed meat happens to be laying about.

My Dad lacked all manner of culinary skill but developed back in the ‘60s what he called “the Briand Special”, which was a fried egg and fried bologna on a toasted English Muffin.

This recipe -- which I found through a convoluted set of circumstance on the web -- takes the fried egg sandwich to a whole new level of taste and sophistication.

This is the orginal recipe for two sandwiches. I adapted it to make four sandwiches, I substituted spinach for frisee lettuce, and I used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. You’ll sacrifice some rendered fat by using the turkey bacon, so a a teaspoon or two of butter was needed at the point of sauteeing the shallots. I also used more -- way more -- than a single slice of bacon.

2 ciabatta rolls
1 1/2 cups frisée (French curly endive), torn into-bite size pieces (about 2 ounces)
1 bacon slice, preferably thick-cut
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
2 large eggs

1. Split the rolls and toast them (in toaster if they fit, toaster oven, or oven);
2. Place lettuce (or spinach) in a medium bowl;
3. Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide lardons;
4. In a small heavy skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat, until pieces are crisp;
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels, reserving bacon fat in pan;
6. Add shallot to bacon fat and cook for one minute, stirring;
7. Add red wine vinegar and let hiss and bubble for 20 to 30 seconds, then remove from heat and whisk in Dijon;
8. Immediately pour hot dressing over lettuce and toss with drained lardons, salt and pepper;
9. Remove rolls from toaster and divide bacon-frisee salad between each bottom bun (you’ll want to heap on more than seems feasible or needed);
10. Top each salad pile with half (2 tablespoons) of the blue cheese;
11. Reheat skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and swirl it to coat the pan;
12. Crack one egg into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium and cook sunnyside up or over easy;
13. Remove the egg from the pan and place it on top of the bacon-frisée salad on the bun;
14. Repeat with remaining egg.

Click here for recipe card.
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