This recipe is a merging of the two traditions, French and English, though I left out the ham (you can easily add it back in). It felt like a total fat kid moment, dipping the hot buttery bread, full of melted cheese, into the egg yolk. I almost felt guilty at the end because it had all happened so fast and was so good. Kind of like when someone catches you licking the plate: I’m super embarrassed I did that, but it was worth it.
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoons butter or ghee, divided
- 2 slices whole wheat or rustic bread
- 3 thin slices cheddar or gruyere
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of water to an active, rolling boil. Using a slotted spoon or being very careful with your fingers, gently place the eggs into the pot to avoid cracking them. Set the timer for 6 minutes, then immediately run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down. Continue until the eggs are lukewarm to the touch, about a minute.
Meanwhile, butter the two outer pieces of bread with a teaspoon each. Place the cheddar on the non-buttered side and close. Heat remaining butter in a pan over medium heat until lightly smoking. Add the bread and let cook until the bottom has browned and crisped, about 4 minutes. Flip, press down firmly with a wooden spoon or spatula and cook until the cheese has mostly melted, 3 to 4 minutes more. (It will continue to melt even after you take it off the heat.)
Cut off the edges of the bread, then roughly cut the remaining pieces into 1-inch strips (You want to make sure they can fit into the egg). Place the eggs in egg holders, use a spoon to crack the top, peel off the shell and then use a spoon to cut off the top. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Dip and enjoy!
Try cheddar for plain grilled cheese and gruyere if you add a slice of ham. As slices of bread and hunks of cheese will differ, focus less on perfect slices of cheese and instead work on getting an even layer that covers the entirety of the piece of bread. In fact, if you cut the pieces into rectangles or smaller squares, it will melt faster.
A six-minute egg means that the egg yolks are still runny but the whites are set. It can be put on top of a salad, eaten as a snack with salt and pepper, on top of noodles...pretty much anyway you like it.