Ever have those days when nothing seems good enough for dinner except a good breakfast? I have those often. Either I’m too tired to make something after a long busy day or I’m just feeling a bit lazy. Sometimes a bowl of cereal will do and other days a spicy egg and cheese sandwich is in order…but not just any egg and cheese sandwich, one made with fried, salty Dominican white cheese. I’m sure you’re wondering “what is that”? Dominican Republic is mostly known for it’s white sand beaches, fantastic golf courses, great cigars and fabulous vacation getaways but cheese? Definitely not the first thing you think about but to a native, whether near or far, it reminds us of childhood, of home and Mom.
As a child, breakfast consisted of eggs, fried cheese, sausages (salchichon) and plantains a dozen ways. Mom would make this almost daily for my Dad but as the years passed my siblings and me became more accustomed to American culture. Our traditional breakfasts were reserved only for weekends and for me, eventually replaced with a lighter fare. However, every once in a while I crave fried cheese and it always takes me back to those good old days.
You can find this white cheese in your local supermarket or Latin bodega. Dominican white cheese is firm, salty and great for frying because its high in salt and made with acid which doesn’t allow it to easily melt like other cheeses. It’s similar in texture to feta but not as salty or crumbly. When it’s pan fried in a bit of oil a nice crust forms and the inside stays soft and gooey, perfect for sandwiches since it won’t fall apart or slide out.
I didn’t have any plantains (blasphemous for Dominicans) and really didn’t want to make an elaborate meal so I made the perfect spicy breakfast sandwich for dinner and it was so delicious!
This is a great vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians) option but if you want meat just add salchichon or bacon for a more filling meal.
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 large egg, over medium
1-2 slices of cheese, fried
toasted whole wheat english muffin
pinch of Adobo (pre-blended Spanish spice mix – optional)
Saute a few jalapeno slices in a bit of butter on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes and remove from pan. Fry the egg in same pan with a bit of oil (2 tbsp) and add a pinch of Adobo. You can skip the Abodo if you’re watching your salt intake, since the cheese may be salty enough. You will want to fry the cheese last so it can be soft and hot when you eat it. Fry the cheese on one side for about a minute and flip over and fry the other side until a nice crust forms. Assemble all on a toasted whole wheat English muffin and dinner is served! Add as much jalapeno as you like to adjust the spiciness.