Fry

Latke, Egg & Cheese Sandwich, Inspired by B&H

December  8, 2020
4 Ratings
Photo by Photographer: Rocky Luten Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

This sandwich was born from a collaboration between East Village institution B&H in Manhattan and Lawrence Weibman, a food-lover and regular customer, who also runs the Instagram account @nycfoodguy. With humble beginnings as an egg and cheese sandwich on B&H’s pillowy house-baked challah, Weibman had the ingenious idea of sliding one of the restaurant’s crispy potato pancakes in the middle. The addition of the latke made the sandwich so fantastic, Weibman knew he wouldn’t be the only person in New York who’d want one. And thus, the official latke, egg, and cheese sandwich—the LEC, as I like to call it—was born. While we couldn’t snag B&H’s official recipes for challah and latkes, this version is as close as you can get to the real thing from home.

When it comes to the challah, you can use store-bought or homemade. (I love Jessica Fechtor's recipe.) My latke recipe makes about 12, but you’ll need just one per sandwich; freeze leftovers and reheat for easy sandwich-making next time! To freeze them, tightly wrap in plastic or foil and place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Defrost in the fridge overnight (or for about an hour on the counter), then reheat on a sheet pan in a 300ºF oven until crispy and heated through. —Rebecca Firkser

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • makes 1 sandwich
Ingredients
  • Sandwich
  • 2 thick slices challah (or brioche in a pinch)
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • Olive oil or butter, for frying eggs
  • 1 or 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 latke (recipe below)
  • Hot sauce and ketchup, for serving, optional (but not really)
  • Latkes
  • 1 pound Russet potatoes (about 3 medium), scrubbed
  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Sandwich: Place bread on a cutting board. (If you’d like, you can toast it first, but @nycfoodguy does not.) Layer the cheese on one slice of bread.
  2. Heat oil or butter in a small nonstick skillet. Scramble or fry the eggs to your liking (at B&H, they’re served over-medium for this sandwich, but live your life). Season the eggs with salt and pepper, then slide them over the cheese. Place a latke over the eggs. If you’d like, smear a bit of hot sauce and ketchup over the latke, then top with the second slice of bread.
  3. Carefully cut the sandwich in half, and serve with extra hot sauce and ketchup if desired.
  4. Latkes: Fill a medium bowl halfway with water. Peel the potatoes and plop them into the water (this prevents the potatoes from oxidizing. Grate the potatoes through the large holes of a box grater, then transfer to another medium bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. (You're done with the water-filled bowl now.)
  5. Remove the grated potatoes from the bowl, squeezing out excess water with your hands, and transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Gather the towel into a package and use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible into the bowl, then return the potatoes to the towel. Drain any potato-water from the grated potato-bowl, but leave any potato starch that’s accumulated in the bottom—we’ll use it in a bit.
  6. Place the onions on top of the potatoes on the towel. Using the towel, wring and squeeze as much water as possible from the potatoes and onions into the sink. Transfer the potatoes and onions to the bowl with the reserved potato starch.
  7. Crack the egg into the bowl along with matzo meal, salt, and a few good grinds of pepper. Use your hands to combine the mixture well, making sure to scrape up and combine any potato starch from the bottom of the bowl.
  8. Line a sheet pan or a large plate with paper towels. Pour oil into a large nonstick or cast iron skillet until it reaches about 1/4-inch up the sides. Heat over medium-high until very hot and shimmery. Test this by adding a piece of potato from the latke mixture to the oil: If it sizzles immediately, you’re good to go. If not, wait a couple more minutes and try again.
  9. Scoop up a scant 1/4 cup of the latke mixture and gently drop it into the oil. Use a fork to spread the batter into a 4-inch pancake and cook until deeply golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you can fry 2 or 3 latkes at a time. Transfer the latkes to the paper towel-lined sheet pan and sprinkle each with salt. Repeat until the batter is used.
  10. Let a latke cool slightly, then transfer to your sandwich. This recipe makes about 12 latkes, which is of course too many for one sandwich. To save yourself some work the next time you crave a LEC, let the latkes cool completely, wrap tightly, and freeze. To reheat, defrost and warm in a 300ºF oven until crispy and heated through.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. Her writing has appeared in TASTE, The Strategist, Eater, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl. You can follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.