Egg

Breakfast Sandwiches Are Extra-Gooey-Cheesy in Genius Land

July  4, 2018

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.

This was the rule, in French cooking schools and restaurants of a certain price tag: Soft-scrambled eggs must be soft and custardy, with teeny-tiny curds, and to achieve them takes 10 minutes of low, low heat and patient, observant whisking.

And that’s fine, if you’re feeling committed or want to bring your meditation practice to the stove at 8 a.m. But now—phew—we don’t have to do any of that, thanks to Wylie Dufresne and the brilliant scrambled egg grilled cheese he concocted for his newest venture, Du’s Donuts and Coffee in Brooklyn.

Dufresne—an early leader in the molecular gastronomy movement—gets around the custardy-eggs rule in a smart and rather deviant way: He cranks up the heat and whisks swiftly, finishing his tiny-curded eggs in about a minute.

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Top Comment:
“I always use plenty of butter with low slow heat to make sure I get nice golden edges with cheese melting down the sides here and there. I also like to add some thin slices of Kentucky Legend ham in there too sometimes but tuna would also work wonderfully, or a strip of crispy bacon, maybe a few thin slices of ripe sweet red pepper from the garden. ”
— Peter A.
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Then he makes up for the punishing treatment by melting in a generous amount of cream cheese, which quickly restores the eggs to custard-like status. “Cream cheese is a miracle ingredient,” he told Emma Wartzman at Bon Appetit earlier this year.

At this point, you can either proceed straight to sandwiching, or leave your eggs to firm up a little more (at Du’s, they smear the soft eggs into a layer to set, then cut them into slabs to be added to the sandwiches on the fly).

Either way, all that’s left is to stack the eggs with a double-dose of highly meltable American cheese on Martin’s potato bread (or something similarly soft, sweet, and friendly to griddling) (1). Then pan-fry till bread is crisp and cheese is oozing—then eat!

You might notice that the keys to the glorious gooey-buttery-crisp textures here are all humbly, proudly American: Philadelphia cream cheese was invented in New York (surprise!) around 1880, Martin’s potato bread was born in Pennsylvania Dutch country in 1955, and American cheese—okay, oddly, it was invented in Switzerland, but clearly America has really latched on (2).

To Dufresne, each of these was the natural, right choice for this style of sandwich—a playful mix of well-designed ingredients and smart technique. "Cream cheese and American cheese are both like ice cream or a good biscuit—a great feat of culinary engineering," he told me over the phone. "Martin’s potato bread, when griddled properly, is the paradigm of toast."

For reasons that perplex me, I can already hear some of you getting ready to squeak about the American cheese, to whom I will say Cheddar is fine. But the rest of us—no matter how whole-foodish we might be some of the time—have a very particular place in our hearts for the singular experience of hot, molten American cheese. Always on cheeseburgers, especially on road trips. Only on grilled cheese, made by my dad. Definitely on bodega eggs. Or all of the above.

Now we can add to that always on Dufresne’s soft-scrambled egg grilled cheese, anytime we want.

(1) “Like a Slice from a Cloud” is what you’re looking for (and Martin’s slogan).

(2) Everything you could ever want to know about American cheese from J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats.

Photos by Bobbi Lin

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]—thank you to American cheese stylist Sarah Jampel and our friends over at Bon Appetit for discovering this one!

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11 Comments

Misfitwife October 19, 2018
Martin's Potato Bread and Rolls are THE BEST!!!
 
Kim S. July 31, 2018
What a fun video. Love the accompanying music.
 
john July 4, 2018
Martins is the brand.
 
Joycelyn July 4, 2018
Thank you John. <br />Although I have to say, I was secretly hoping someone would add a link to that special fantabulous best bread ever recipe! <br /> :-)
 
Joycelyn July 4, 2018
My question would be... Martin's potato bread... is it a special fantabulous best bread recipe ever invented, or a brand? <br /><br />My self, I dislike eggs in any form especially egg salad sandwiches, ew! ew! but hubby on the other hand would love this particular one as it consists of two of his favourite sandwiches.
 
Peter A. July 4, 2018
Good use of the eggs, but, a super yummy sour dough or artisan loaf of almost any kind would be far preferable to any type of bagged white bread. And you need some good Vermont cheddar along with some pepperjack to perk that puppy up. I always use plenty of butter with low slow heat to make sure I get nice golden edges with cheese melting down the sides here and there. I also like to add some thin slices of Kentucky Legend ham in there too sometimes but tuna would also work wonderfully, or a strip of crispy bacon, maybe a few thin slices of ripe sweet red pepper from the garden.
 
B J. July 4, 2018
I would add diced green onion or chives to the eggs for a little more flavor!!
 
Paul M. July 4, 2018
....and I thought I was posesser of a great "wisdom of the pyramids "... I've made scrambled eggs this way since the 1980s
 
Sj D. July 4, 2018
I usually make an egg dip (aka savory French toast) with the seasoning mirroring the filling before grilling with slathered mayo/frying in butter
 
leeconant July 4, 2018
I use the mayo on the outside of the bread. Hellman's of course. It has a higher burning point than butter and I can't tell the diff. This is a fabulous sandwich.
 
Sj D. July 4, 2018
same here..but sometimes butter cravings trump mayo...i love using kewpies Japanese mayo