There was a time in my life that I thought for sure I was destined to be a baker. I loved baking because it was science, it was exact. I went about learning the formulas and creating recipes for my bakery that I thought I would one day open (and it *almost* happened but I’m really glad it didn’t.) Then, about the time I started with the CSA, I realized how freeing cooking could be. Instead of exact measurements it became about the senses. It became about using whatever I had on hand and adding a dash here/sprinkle here. I think now instead of a bakery, you’re probably more likely to see me in a food truck traveling across the country, serving “vegetarian around the world” with tacos, curry, spring rolls, and sloppy joes.
Why this elaborate intro to a grilled cheese? Because this is pretty emblematic about why I love cooking. The first version of this sandwich manifested itself nearly two years ago as a roasted tomato and egg cheese sandwich. I then learned the joy of a quick, mild harissa that permeated a few recipes, including and avocado grilled cheese sandwich, which led me here, to combining the two. I love grilled cheese and eggs together. I prefer the fried egg while M, after coming back from a conference in New York, professed a strong liking of poached eggs on sandwiches. Use either this version or the roasted tomato version- both are some great sandwiches!
Harissa + Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 roasted red bell pepper
- 1 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from one lime
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- Olive oil, for brushing
- Pinch Salt + Pepper
- 2 eggs, fried or poached
- 3 ounces mixed cheese: Havarti, Taleggio, +/ Mozzarella
- In a blender or food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until harissa is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Preheat grill pan or regular pan over medium-low heat. Brush outsides of bread with olive oil. Place on piece of bread, olive oil side down, in the grill pan and smear on 2 tablespoons of harissa. Layer with fried or poached egg and 1/2 the cheese. Smear 1-2 more tablespoon of harissa on remaining piece of bread and place olive oil side up.
- Cook on each side until crisp and cheese has melted.
by Erin Alderson