Fried Egg, Lettuce, and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled cheese meets a fried egg then mashes up with a BLT. This colorful sandwich rocks three classics in one delightfully messy handful.
February in the Midwest is NOT the time for ripe tomatoes and fresh lettuce. Why am I sharing a recipe calling for these ingredients on my blog that celebrates locally-sourced foods? Simple. This is the time to lock down YOUR local source for the upcoming season's fresh fare.
If you're local to the Dayton area, there will be a Community Supported Agriculture Fair at the 2nd Street Market on Thursday, February 25th from 5:30-7:30pm where you can meet farmers, learn cooking tips from a local chef, and hang with like-minded folks. Look around your community for a similar even this time of year, or try Barn2Door or LocalHarvest to find food near you.
If you read this blog often you realize that these photos were not taken last week because they feature ripe tomatoes. I do not buy tomatoes at the grocery store. Period. Even a plain Jane eater knows that tomatoes grown locally and picked when ripe--not picked prematurely and shipped across many wintery states--just taste better. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO EAT FOOD THAT DOESN'T TASTE GOOD. So, I eat my fresh tomatoes in the summer and Fall. I eat so many that at times I'm sick of fresh tomatoes and welcome any simple tips for putting them up for winter (like this freezer-friendly Fresh Tomato Pesto), but in October I know I'm facing at least 7 months with fresh tomatoes, so I gorge while I can.
I'm not a Foodie, though. I couldn't tell you the difference between one Fancy Name Chocolate and Another Fancy Named Chocolate. You don't have to be a Foodie to eat local, though. Even a little kid can tell you that a local strawberry, picked during your area's strawberry season, beats anything you can pull out of a plastic clamshell for sweetness and flavor. That's one reason why I eat locally. Keeping my dollars in my local economy is another.
Whatever your reasons, this is the time to research your options for a More Local 2016. You'll need to fortify yourself, so I suggest a sandwich. For more grilled cheese sandwiches, please check out my Clickable Collage of Recipe Suggestions--I've got a whole photo collage devoted to Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, showcasing locally foraged, grown, and sourced produce. But wait there's more recipe ideas! For more recipes using tomatoes, please see my Red & Yellow Tomato Recipes Collection. For more recipes using Salad Greens, please see my Lettuce & Salad Greens Recipes Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me wondering how to make the most of the farm share. I'm pinning recipes from all over the web to my Pinterest boards, follow me there. I'm sharing new finds on my Facebook page, follow me there. And I've discovered how fun it is share quick photos on Instagram, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?
|Please note my stylish bacon grease container.|
Two Notes: I found it easiest to have 2 skillets going, a small one for the eggs and a larger one for the bread. If you're using a single skillet, I'd do the egg first then set it aside on your plate, covered with another plate, then do cheese bread and assemble. That way your plates are slightly warmed by the egg, too. High falutin'. I chose not to use bacon in my sandwich, but I did use bacon grease to fry the eggs and provide the B flavoring in the BLT. Simply using the cooking fat of your choice will make this a vegetarian meal.
Fried Egg, Lettuce, and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich (makes 2)
- 1 tomato, locally grown is more than preferred, I'd say it's necessary
- bacon grease or the cooking fat of your choice
- 2 eggs (also locally grown, if your neighbor's friend's chickens or egg-gathering kids aren't on strike this week)
- 4 slices of bread (I'm partial to my Multigrain Sourdough but clearly didn't use it this time)
- 2 slices Jarlsberg cheese
- 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- a large handful of lettuce
- Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt (Amazon affiliate link) or salt and pepper to taste
- Slice tomato thinly and set aside to drain juices. Sprinkle with seasoning just before assembly.
- Preheat one small and one medium skillet over medium heat. Add bacon grease or the cooking fat of your choice to the small skillet.
- Crack eggs into the greased skillet. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook until the edges are frizzled and the whites are nearly set. Flip the eggs over and continue cooking until desired doneness. Season as you like, I'm using the Krazy Jane's mentioned above, and set aside.
- While the eggs are cooking, spread one side of each slice of bread with bacon grease or the cooking fat of your choice. Place in ungreased skillet, fat side down, and spread the top side of bread with fat. When the bottom is lightly browned, flip over the bread and lay a slice of cheese on the cooked side. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with all the bread, making sure to have a slice of Jarlsberg and a slice of cheddar for each plate.
- Assemble the sandwich with one slice of bread, cheese facing up, topped with seasoned tomato, loads of lettuce, and a seasoned fried egg. Top with the remaining slice of bread, cheese side down. You may need a knife and fork.