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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Open-Faced Egg Sandwiches with Ham and Cheese

Think of all your favorite breakfast foods........eggs, bacon, coffeecake, sticky rolls, muffins, french toast, pancakes, home fries, fresh-squeezed orange juice, omelettes, quiche, Belgian waffles........

Well, I've left a couple dozen of my favorite dishes off the list, but I think you get the picture.

Breakfast food is yummy!  But I very rarely prepare more than one of the aforementioned items at a time, unless it's a very rare occasion where I am up for hours before the rest of my family; when they wake up they want to eat whatever is available, they don't want to hear me tell them to wait a while so I can put the finishing touches on a breakfast smorgasbord.

So the usual (weekend) breakfast in my house is muffins or waffles or coffeecake or french toast or bacon and get what you get, and you don't get upset. 

It's always a hit in my house when we have Breakfast for Dinner.  It doesn't happen very often but sometimes I'll make a buffet of breakfast foods at dinnertime.

And sometimes I'll compromise and make something like the following recipe; something that might be a little too time-consuming to make in the early hours of the morning, but easy to prepare for dinner--and a welcome change when you're in a rut and your family has been complaining that you've served chicken too many nights in a row.

Open-Faced Egg Sandwiches with Ham & Cheese
(If anyone can come up with a catchier name, I'm open to suggestions!)
  • 1 large baguette or other crusty loaf of bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 lb thin-sliced deli ham
  • butter
  • milk
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese

Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise.  Cut each piece in half again.  Use a spoon to scoop out the inside so it's hollow.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the pan, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Cook the ham slices in the butter until the edges start to brown and it gets a bit crispy, about 2 minutes on each side.  I use Rosemary Ham, it's my favorite deli ham, but you should use whatever your favorite happens to be.

We're not really big ham fans in this house, actually one member of the family wants a sandwich with no ham.  I'm only using one slice of ham per sandwich (if it were sliced thinner I would probably use two slices in each sandwich, but it was all the grumpy fellow behind the deli counter could handle to have to open up a new package of seldom-requested Rosemary ham; requesting him to slice it really thin probably would have put him over the edge).

Remove the ham from the pan and place it onto the hollowed-out bread.

Melt another 1/2 tablespoon of butter, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a splash of milk. 

Add the eggs to the pan and scramble.

Scramble the eggs until they are almost cooked.  You want them to be a teensy bit soft because they will continue to cook in the oven.

Set your broiler to "high."
Divide the eggs between the four sandwiches, and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

There are only 3 sandwiches in this picture because one family member requested no cheese.

Place the sandwiches under your broiler just until the cheese melts.  You don't want to overdo it.........don't let the cheese get bubbly, heat it just enough to melt. 

The eggs will thank you for not overdoing it.

Season the sandwich with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

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