I was sitting in the spa at Old Edwards Inn, completely relaxed after a nice shower and steam, lounging in my robe and slippers, and decided to thumb through the magazines. I saw the most excellent looking sandwich on the cover of Bon Appetit and I had to have it. It contained a fried egg with bacon on grilled bread. It looked amazing. I figured I could make something good around the same concept for a dinner sized, meatless sandwich and as luck would have it, I was right. I am not saying this is better than the bacon version, that’s crazy and against the Swanson doctrine, but for a meatless monday, this one was savory enough to make you not crave the bacon or another smokey meat (though smoked salmon would work great with it).
I started by reconfiguring the main and went with a baby portabella, sautéed with caramelized onions and garlic. I got them to where they were nice and sweated and then put them aside.
If you have this in your recipe, you’ve already won at cooking.
I had to change up the crunch and acid of the dish as well. The original called for pickled spring onion, but my store was out. I switched it up and went traditional with cucumbers. A mason jar, some salt, half a cuke, and red wine and cider vinegar. Nothing wrong with that.
Brine, baby, brine!!
To replace the mayonnaise that the original recipe called for, I made an impromptu sandwich spread with nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and sriracha. I made this ahead and set it aside.
Next, you must have a good fried egg. I used a large, flat-bottomed pan (the same one I used for the shrooms) got it hot before adding 2 tbls butter. Once the butter is melted, you’ll want to give the eggs a like crack and open them very slowly very close to the pan– you want the bottom to start cooking as soon as they hit the pan so the stay confined. You want the yolks to stay intact and stay runny! A runny yolk is a wonderful thing and if you are afraid of it, I’m telling you now, you are missing out on the true rich flavor of an egg if you aren’t eating them this way.
Keep them tight, even at the cost of your finger tips.
For the bread, I used a fresh sourdough cut into reasonably thick slices and brushed one side each with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and butter. Using a pastry brush, generous coat one side and place it on a hot grill pan. Keep it that side down about 2 mins and brush the other side and flip. Once the bread has reached a good crispness, take off the grill and start making the sandwich.
Add your yogurt sauce to both slices of the bread and then on one side your shroom mix and then your egg.
You should always have green on the dish, and this sandwich comes with some nice arugula (or as our across the pond friends say, rocket). Someone once said you should never serve and undressed green on a hot sandwich, and I agree. I tossed the arugula in the leftover oil and garlic before adding it on and topping with three of the pickles. Cut it in half of the yolk runs down the sandwich, and you have a winner!
For a side, I wanted something crunchy, but not potato or sweet potato. I remembered a great dish I would get in Athens called Yucas Fritas– deep fried yuca root. It is the thing at the grocery store that looks like this:
You’ve probably never bought it, but you’ll want to for this recipe.
Yuca is a starchy vegetable, but it has a lighter flavor than a potato. It is sweet, but not plantain sweet. It fries up just like crispy french fries, though.
The recipe is simple, peel it, cut it into two in long strips, and soak it in salt water for at least 20 mins. Heat about 3 inches of canola oil in a pan to medium high heat. Dry a handful of the yuca and fry for about 6 mins or until they float. Let them rest and then, in a separate pan add a little oil or butter with salt, garlic powder and pepper for a quick toss. They will be a great side to many a sandwich or burrito.
This was a great version of what I am sure is a great original. The sandwiches and yucas disappeared from our plates much like our vacation did– all too quickly. Enjoy.
Portbello and Fried Egg Sandwiches:
4 slices sourdough
4oz baby bellas
1/2 large sweet onion
3 clove fresh garlic
2 large eggs, butter for pan
Two handfuls arugula
Olive oil, garlic, 1tsp butter for grilled bread
1 small tub of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp Sriracha
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
1/2 medium cucumber
1.5 tbls salt
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
tsp salt, water for bath
Canola for pan
1 tbls olive oils, garlic powder, pepper, salt to taste.