Serious Eats: Recipes

Meat Lite: Soppressata, Egg, and Ricotta Sandwiches on Buttermilk Biscuits

Editor's note: Philadelphia food writers Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond drop by each week with Meat Lite, which celebrates meat in moderation. Meat Lite was inspired by their book, Almost Meatless.

As sandwiches go, the egg sandwich earns a versatility ranking right up there with classic peanut butter. Yet it has been suppressed for so long, stereotyped, cornered by its McMuffin identity.

The potential combinations of its simple ingredients--eggs, meat, cheese and bread--are infinite. Here, salty soppressata makes its meaty mark in just one or two whisper-thin slices, and yellow cheese that's usually paired with bacon in typical versions of an egg-and-cheese sandwich is replaced by mild, creamy, fresh ricotta. You can cook your egg any way you like it, but for a sandwich like this, I fry mine, until the yolk is just set, still bright and barely molten when I bite it. A sprinkle of chopped fresh chives sets into the white as it cooks and sheds a bright note on the richness of the sandwich.

It's easy enough to make these for a brunch spread, baking the biscuits ahead of time and letting guests dollop spoonfuls of ricotta and fold slices of soppressata and on top of short-order eggs. But don't let the egg sandwich identity restrict it to the first half of the day. They make a meal at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

About the author: Tara Mataraza Desmond writes about, cooks, and eats food for a living. Her blog, Crumbs On My Keyboard, is dedicated to delicious things in Philadelphia and lots of other places.

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