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Egg-in-a-Hole Grilled Cheese

On Friday, while the rest of America (and maybe some of the rest of the world) was trying to figure out how to concoct the perfect sandwich from the previous day’s Thanksgiving leftovers, I was trying to find something that would appeal to my cold-starved body. There was no turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, or veggies to reheat. Most of all, there was also no extra slice of pie to eat for breakfast.

A few weeks ago, I had seen Aida Mollenkamp on The Food Network doing a show all about eggs. One dish she made was basically a twist on a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll, the deli hangover staple. My brain decided that this Egg in a Hole Grilled Cheese was just the kind of food that my body was ready to tackle after several days of chicken soup and cold medicine.

I was surprised to see how many shops were closed in my neighborhood the day after Turkey Day. It was very quiet. Among the places that were open was the Italian deli. Knowing that I had eggs and butter in the fridge, as I was supposed to have made a pie to take to Thanksgiving dinner, I just needed to pick up bread, ham, and cheese.

I guess I sort of cheated a little bit to suit my own tastes, but this recipe is flexible like that. I used a Comté cheese instead of regular Swiss. They are cousins, so the flavor is similar. The deli had proscuitto cotto, which I used instead of Canadian bacon. I think that you could also substitute sliced ham and get the same effect. Bacon would make this sandwich too greasy and regular proscuitto would be too dry, but there are many various that you could do.

The honey mustard I used was Honeycup – also very good for Southern ham biscuits. It has a nice sharp-sweet tang with a bit of a bite, especially if you slather it on the bread the way that I do. I used a farm bread which worked well, but has as its downfall that you end up with lots of bread in the filling-to-bread ratio. I recommend using something more square-shaped.

Once you end up adding the cheese and ham and topping the egg side with the mustard side, you end up with something like this in the pan. Although not in the recipe, I realized that I needed to add more butter to the pan after I flipped the entire sandwich so that there would be some fat to cook the second side of the bread. Instead of adding the butter to the pan, which would make it turn brown instantly due to the now very hot pan, I buttered the non-mustard side of the bread after I placed that slice on top of the egg bread and before I flipped it to toast in the pan. This seems to work very well.

After a few minutes more, my lunch was ready. A softly cooked egg surrounded by gooey cheese and smoky ham all wrapped up in buttery, crunchy toast. I added a small side salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette to round out the meal. I wish I could eat more mid-day repasts like this, although not with the cold that my body is still fighting.

Buon appetito!

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