Thursday was blarg: there’s no tiptoeing around it. For whatever reason, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and my gloomy wakeup set the tone for the rest of the day. I didn’t like my outfit! My morning commute was soggy and terrible! I didn’t have any projects at work! It rained all day! My lunch was boring! Blahdy blah blah blah!
In short, I was a whiny, wimpy person yesterday, filled with self-pity, piss, and vinegar.
Unwilling to wait 22 minutes for the next bus downtown, I took a cab home from work and immediately changed into Loungewear. Thusly, I roll.
Before cabbing, I’d stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up dinner materials: whole-grain sourdough, eggs, arugula, cheddar, and bacon. I recognized early on that my day was shitty and that, despite earnest rebuttal efforts, it was going to continue along its shitty little path. Instead of beating myself up for being crabby, therefore, I focused instead on what would comprise my perfect dinner. Hook was going out, so I had only to take my own taste into account.
I ran through a lot of options — last week’s beet and quinoa salad, pizza, rice pudding — before deciding to make a Fried Egg Sandwich with Cheddar, Bacon, and Arugula. Not an arugula fan? This sandwich will change your mind. Not a bacon fan? Let go of your fear of fat and give this bad boy a whirl. Not a fan of sandwiches? Piss off.
I first tried this sandwich months ago at Luna Park. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Luna Park — some of their dishes are home runs, while others border on food court mediocrity — but this sandwich makes me think longingly of sprawling, bottomless-mimosa brunches in the dim dining room. (I’m longing as we speak: is it obvious?)
Since first trying it, I’ve seen the recipe pop up on a few food blogs and on at least one other menu. Clearly, the ECBA (or…BACE? EBAC?) is the new hit sandwich; its recent popularity doesn’t diminish it in my estimation. Unlike the Pitchfork readers who weep tears of rage when “their” band has a song in a Honda commercial, I’m glad for this sammie’s growing popularity. How much cheerier would I be if I could get this sandwich at any restaurant? Answer: immeasurably.
Right. The bad news is that the breakfast joints around my house haven’t adopted this as their go-to omelet alternative. The good news is, the sandwich is charmingly easy to make (as are most sandwiches, hence their everlasting appeal). One note: though this sandwich is super easy to assemble, it requires just slightly more prep time than other sandwiches. (Before putting the sang together, you’ll need to cook the bacon, which itself takes 10 – 15 minutes. I don’t believe in precooked bacon or in microwaving bacon, y’all! Also, I don’t have a microwave.)
One other note: the original sandwich also included tomato slices, which I omitted totally by accident. (Oops.) Last night’s sandwich was still pretty kick-ass, though, so my verdict is that you can leave off the tomatoes if you’re not a fan of them. Conversely, add away if you’re megadosing on lycopene.
Fried Egg Sandwich with Cheddar, Bacon, and Arugula
- Four slices sourdough bread. Yes, you must use sourdough. I mean, use another bread at your own risk, but don’t blame me if this sandwich doesn’t blow you away.
- Four strips of bacon
- Two eggs
- Two slices of cheddar cheese
- Two small handfuls of arugula
- Butter or oil (for frying eggs)
- Salt, pepper, jalapeno Tabasco sauce — whatever you like on your egg sandwiches
- Before doing anything else, begin to cook your bacon. Trust me: bacon takes longer to cook than you’d think (though I like my bacon crrrrrrrisp!). Once bacon is done, place it on a paper towel-covered plate.
- Heat a large skillet and add a small amount of oil (or butter). Crack your eggs into the pan and fry them in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed. I prefer my fried eggs with broken yolks, but if you like to keep the yolk intact, you go, girlfriend.
- When your eggs are mostly done, add the cheese. Sprinkle eggs with salt or pepper or any sauce you find desirable.
- Toast your sourdough to desired darkness
- Assemble your sandwiches: each sandwich gets one egg, one slice of cheddar, two strips of bacon, and a nice handful of arugula (and tomato, if you chose to include it). Slice sandwiches in half, and enjoy with bottomed or bottomless mimosas.
Since last night, I’ve thought quite a bit about a sauce that would enhance this sandwich. Frankly, the sandwich doesn’t need enhancements, but I’m a sucker for condiments. I’m thinking a grainy, subtle mustard would be good, or maybe apple butter. Thoughts on condiments?
That’s it. If you enjoy this sandwich, spread the gospel! If not, I don’t know what to tell you — perhaps you skipped a step, or perhaps you are the world’s pickiest eater. Whatever the case may be, I’m always on the hunt for enlivened breakfast fare. What is your favorite breakfast sandwich?