Recently, Ben and I were eating tacos at our preferred taco spot when a couple sat down at the bar next to us and, soon, received a hearty sandwich each. In what couldn’t have been more than twenty minutes, they managed to consume these sandwiches—serious sandwiches, with lots of melting cheese and hearty proteins and plenty of fixings—drink a couple of beers, have a very efficient conversation and go on their way. I was amazed. I looked down at the remaining one of my two fairly small tacos, which I had been trying to eat as slowly as possible, then at Ben, incredulous. “They’re sandwich people,” he explained.
I am not sandwich people, you see. I’ve just never been a big fan. I know! Such a controversial statement. If you’re actually still reading, you’re probably thinking, Who is this person, and why did I ever trust anything she ever said about eating? I realize that sandwiches are very popular. But they disappear far too quickly for my preference, and they’re so filling. And yes, I do know that this is exactly why most people love them.
I, on the other hand, like my meals long and lingering, and, when given the choice, I would prefer eating a much more significant volume of food than the average sandwich allows. (Vegetarianism, by the way, has served me very well in this regard.) Open-faced sandwiches, however, are totally my jam, as is the practice of deconstructing a sandwich I have been served so that I can eat the individual components. The goal here is to make the meal last, and to leave room for cake if possible.
And yet, there is a time and a place for sandwiches, even for a doubter like me. Sometimes, a person really is that hungry, or in a hurry, or both. But if I’m going to eat a sandwich, it must be delicious, and it must be interesting. Enter the English muffin, with its heartiness, pleasant texture and slight chew. Put that baby in the toaster and it boasts the most distinct and lovely scent, one that reminds me of my childhood. That’s probably because, until recently, I hadn’t eaten one in years, deterred by preservatives and unfamiliar words on the ingredient lists. I did make them from scratch once, which was fun but time consuming and so never repeated. And then, my friend Kimmy started working at Leadbetter’s Bakeshop. She has excellent taste, so I was not surprised to find that these are not just English muffins but very delicious English muffins, things of beauty without any mysterious ingredients. If you are lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, you should definitely seek them out.
But wherever you might obtain your English muffins, once you have them in hand, here’s a sandwich that even the sandwich-averse (i.e., me) can enjoy. It is fitting at any meal, pleasantly filling and highly tasty.
(Also, you can definitely eat this one open face if you want—you’ll be making a mess regardless!)
English Muffin Sandwich with Fluffy Eggs & Avocado
Egg cooking inspiration from Bon Appétit
Serves 1 but easily multiplied (be sure to make the eggs separately for each sandwich)
English muffin (plain, whole grain or multi-grain), like Leadbetter’s
Butter or olive oil, for the pan
Freshly cracked black pepper
Goat cheese, optional
1/2 avocado, roughly mashed (add a squeeze of lemon or lime if you like)
Sriracha or your preferred hot sauce
Get all of your sandwich components ready so that you can construct quickly once the eggs are done. Split the English muffin in half using a fork and start toasting.
To make fluffy folded eggs, melt a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk two eggs with a sprinkling of salt and pepper until completely uniform in color and consistency. Add the eggs to the pan and, with a spatula, move them around gently as they cook, as with a soft scramble. When the eggs are nearly cooked but still slightly runny, about 2 minutes, sprinkle some chopped chives atop. If your pan is on the larger side, push the eggs together. Fold them into a half moon, then fold again to form an English muffin-sized, quarter-of-the-pie-shaped package.
Hopefully your English muffin is perfectly toasted at this point, or just before. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese, if using, on one or both sides of the muffin. Pile the mashed avocado on the bottom half of the English muffin, with more on the top half if you like (this is a nice move if you, like me, end up deconstructing the sandwich while eating). Gently set the fluffy eggs atop the avocado. Top with plenty of hot sauce and a generous handful of arugula.