There are some recipes for which I am eternally grateful. The chocolate mousse one that I learnt in France, the tip for a perfect roast chicken, the cheese soufflé that I never get sick of. I have a small collection of favourites that I love so much and have made so often that I no longer need a recipe. This, dear reader, is going to be one of them. It appears on Smitten Kitchen‘s enlightening, funny blog and, well, it is just scrummy. You might think that a fried egg sandwich needs no gilding, bar perhaps some bacon and possibly some ketchup or brown sauce. But this is sooo much more than a fried egg sandwich. It is a salade composée in a bun, a perfect fast food fix that fulfills more than that fix’s basic requirements by adding some taste and sophistication to the mix. I made one yesterday and, if it hadn’t been for the impending early night that a 9am flight had imposed, I could easily have been tempted by another. Go on, they’re only little…
Fried egg, bacon and blue cheese sandwich
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
smooth Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon
red wine vinegar, 4 teaspoons
butter, a couple of small lumps for frying the eggs
sea salt and black pepper
frisée/curly lettuce, about half a head (a handful per bun)
smoked streaky bacon, 2 rashers
hard/crumbly blue cheese (e.g. Stilton), 30g
English muffins or ciabatta rolls, 2
1. Rinse the lettuce leaves, drain and then, if necessary, chop/shred finely. Put them into a bowl large enough to dress them in.
2. Cut the bacon into small pieces and dry-fry until crisp.
3. Whilst the bacon is frying, peel and finely chop the shallot and chop the cheese into small pieces.
4. Remove the crisp bacon from the frying pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan, and put it in the bowl with the lettuce. If there is barely any bacon fat (unlikely with streaky but you never know) add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to the pan.
5. Add the shallot to the bacon fat in the pan then cook for about a minute until softening but not coloured.
6. Add the red wine vinegar to the shallot, let it hiss and bubble for about 20 seconds then quickly stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper then tip over the lettuce and bacon.
7. Split the muffins/rolls and toast them.
8. Whilst the muffins are toasting, put the butter into the same frying pan and fry the eggs.
9. Divide the salad between two of the muffin halves, top each one with half the blue cheese, a fried egg, some salt and pepper and the other muffin half.