Like any good northern New Jerseyan, my go-to egg sandwich order is a Taylor, egg, and cheese. Taylor is New Jersey slang for Taylor ham, which in turn is New Jersey slang for pork roll, which is the greatest breakfast meat of all time. Southern New Jerseyans refer to it exclusively as pork roll, which is a debate for another day, because the operative word in all of this is: order.
I order TECs at Jewish delis and bodegas and markets. But you’d never find me making one at home.
It’s not that cooking Taylor ham is hard. Like bacon strips or sausage patties, it requires little more than tossing it in a hot skillet and standing watch. But it’s the standing watch that becomes a problem at 7:31 a.m. on a Wednesday when I’m sprinting around my house trying to brush my teeth, find my headphones, pour my tea into its travel mug, and make an egg sandwich — all at the same time.
That’s when this recipe comes in handy. If you can call it a recipe.
Most egg sandwiches hinge on four components: bread, eggs, meat, and cheese. This sandwich follows suit with the first two, but goes off-road from there — by ditching the meat and cheese, and calling in Calabrian chiles and mayonnaise.
Why? Let’s take them one by one:
Last year, Giada Di Laurentiis called crushed Calabrian chiles a pantry must-have — and ever since, I’ve never been without a jar. Made with minced chiles, olive oil, and wink of vinegar, it’s a chunky, spreadable paste that makes me think of hot sauce before it gets blended smooth.
Now, about the mayonnaise. While more likely to be found on a lunch sandwich than a breakfast one, it’s no stranger to eggs. Just think of egg salad and deviled eggs. And the fact that mayonnaise is made with eggs! I especially love the way this ingredient adds richness and creaminess, almost like melty cheese.
When you smear the two together, they meld into a hurried person’s spicy mayo, marbled, swirled, and very messy.
I wrap the whole thing in foil while still warm, throw it in my backpack, and dash for the door. But wait—where are those headphones?
Egg Sandwich With Mayo & Chile Paste
2 slices bread
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 extra-large eggs
1 pinch kosher salt
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon crushed Calabrian chiles (I like TuttoCalabria brand)
1. Toast the bread. Aim for slightly crusty and colorful, but not too crispy. Let that cool while you cook the eggs.
2. Add the olive oil to a small nonstick pan and set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, crack in the eggs. If a yolk breaks, it’s no big deal. Cook until the whites are mostly set, flip, then cook until the yolks are squishy and soft (not bouncy and liquidy).
3. Spread the bread with mayo, followed by the chile paste. Add the eggs, and close the sandwich. Ideally, let it sit for a few minutes before slicing in half. (I pack the sandwich in foil, take it on my commute, and eat it at the office.)