The bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich may be king in places like New York for good reason, but I’d like to take a second to sing the praises of the Dutch version of this sandwich: the uitsmijter. An open-faced sandwich of ham, egg, and melted cheese, it’s a simpler version of a French croque madame without needing to make a batch of bechamel sauce. Often served (or made) after you’ve had a long night out, that simplicity is completely intentional; it’s easy to make even when the thought of needing to make food feels like it’s too much.
What I love about it is that it’s perfect for basically any time of day: as a simple breakfast that’s not a bowl of cereal, a lovely brunch option after an intense workout, a quick lunch to make at home during the workday, or a cozy dinner to pair with a light salad and maybe a bowl of tomato soup on a particularly cold evening.
I personally like mine with some inexpensive prosciutto and some nice aged gouda cheese (see here for another gouda-prosciutto combo that we make to this day), but you could go with the ham and firm cheese of your choosing. I also like to use grated cheese over slices because I get a better selection to choose from, but if you’re a fan of a particular sliced cheese that works for you, have at it! This isn’t meant to be complicated–it’s meant to be comfort food.
Sometimes, that’s all you need for a great meal.
Uitsmijter (open-face ham, egg, and cheese sandwich)
Lightly adapted from Lucky Peach All About Eggs by Rachel Khong, et al
Makes two sandwiches
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 4 eggs
- 4 oz freshly-shredded aged Gouda cheese, divided
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 2 slices pain de campagne, lightly toasted
Place two slices of prosciutto on each slice of toast and place on plates for serving, and set aside.
In a medium nonstick skillet, melt 1 TB of butter on medium-high heat and gently crack two of the eggs in the pan into the foaming butter and let cook for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat, add 2 ounces of the grated cheese, and cover the skillet to let the cheese melt. When fully melted, remove from heat.
Place the eggs on one of the slices of toast, and repeat with the remaining butter, eggs, and cheese, and serve immediately.