Second only to the cold cut heavy Italian sub, Peppers and Eggs is about as Italian-American as you can get, sandwich-wise. This recipe, adapted from Defonte's in Brooklyn for The Big New York Sandwich Book, is a spot-on home adaptation of the deli classic. Sautéed and simmered onions and bell peppers are scrambled with eggs, finished with a hefty handful of mozzarella, and piled into a crusty long roll. Don't try messing with any sort of highfalutin fresh mozz here; it's not the place for it. This is one case where only the salty, rubbery supermarket will do. And as far as seasoning goes, salt and pepper is just about all you need since the eggs take in all of flavors of the onions and peppers. Throw on a few hot peppers if you're feelin' like a tough guy, but this sandwich is really all about its barebones heartiness.
Editor's Note: The following recipe is from the July 20 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter.
- 4 (10-inch) Italian hero loaves (or other large, soft roll), halved lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 green bell peppers, quartered, deseeded, and diced
- 2 red bell peppers, quartered, deseeded, and diced
- 16 eggs, beaten
- Salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella (Defonte’s uses Polly-O)
Lay each hero roll on a plate. Add the 2 teaspoons of oil to a skillet. Add the onion and sweat until soft, about 3 minutes. Place the cooked onions and the raw peppers in a medium pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain.
While the vegetables are cooking, whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using the onion skillet, add 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil (if necessary). When the skillet is hot, add a quarter of the beaten eggs, or about 4 eggs. After 2 minutes, add a quarter of the vegetables, season again, and scramble. Just before the mixture has reached desired doneness, add the mozzarella. Fill each hero roll with the scrambled egg. Cook the remaining 3 batches the same way.