I’ve often been known to try to cook without adding oil. Blame it on Teflon, the invention without which I probably would not be so bold. I am however coming around to the glories of frying food in fat and butter, despite the extra fat and calories, it just tastes so much better.
Case in point, my latest creation: the American-style Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich, Swiss-style. One of my favorite things about New York City were the endless diners that deliver to your door, sometimes all day long. It was the most amazing thing on a Saturday or Sunday morning (afternoon) with a hang over, calling over to the diner down the street for delivery, two bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches and maybe an order of home-fries, extra crispy.
So, the other day my boyfriend found himself in such a state of being, and I decided to see if I could recreate a classic with supplies from our Swiss grocery store. Not kaiser rolls but standard egg rolls. Bacon, check. Eggs, check. And for the pièce de résistance, Gruyère sandwich cheese. I love Gruyère, it is probably my favorite of the Swiss cheeses. For those of you who don’t know, Gruyere is not the “Swiss cheese” we buy in American grocery stores: that is Swiss Emmental. Gruyère has a mild but savory flavor that is great to enhance dishes. It is also one of the cheese the Swiss use in Fondue, thus it is particularly well-suited for melting. All of which makes it an amazing accompaniment to today’s dish.
To start, I fry the bacon. I have always found that you should slow fry bacon on a low temperature for best results, if you have the patience. Now for all that lovely bacon grease, I like to make the most of it. Slice the egg rolls and turn them inside face down on top of the frying bacon. This gives you a nice toasty texture to the otherwise plane rolls. Meanwhile, break your eggs into a bowl and mix rapidly until well blended. When the bacon is done, take the rolls off and place inside face up on your plates. Place the bacon strips on one side of the roll. Lower the heat on the frying pan considerably. Using the same frying pan as for your bacon, with all the bacon grease still hot, pour in the beaten eggs. The eggs cook quickly, so stir as you would for scrambled eggs and then separate into two portions, shape into patties and let the eggs just cook through. Remove the egg patties from the pan and place on top of the bacon. Then add the sandwich cheese on top of the egg. Gruyère will become very soft on the hot food. Serve.
The Swiss also have a national dish that some people suggest is much like homefries. It is called Röschti. Roschti resembles home-fries in that it is fried-grated potatoes, and from what I’ve ready, was traditionally served for breakfast, although I’ve more often seen it in cafeterias at lunchtime. However, roschti is made from lard, and the result is a much heavier potato patty. When I think of home-fries, the onion is key to the flavor, and as my Jewish upbringing would suggest, I like it crispy.
But for today our BEC sandwich is just perfect. It is very easy (one pan) and really hits the spot. Next time I will provide pictures.