The inspo for this insanely good breakfast sandwich is three fold... Number one: its elements are slightly reminiscent of what is arguably the greatest sandwich of all time, the muffaletta, with its deli meats, cheese and olive salad. Watch Ralph from Welcome Eatery make us one here.
Number two: the idea of drizzling honey on something salty and spicy comes from what is (in my opinion) one of the greatest restaurants in all of the world, Roberta's in Brooklyn. Roberta's is a pizza place (but so much more than that too) and one of their most famous pizzas is called the Bee Sting, a spicy salami pizza drizzled with honey. That combo of sweet, salty and spicy is an absolute winner. If you ever find yourself in Brooklyn do yourself a favour and have a meal at Roberta's. I had such a great time there that I tried to buy a t-shirt on the way out...only to be left waiting there like an asshole, while the hostess went to fetch the key to the merch stand and then never came back. In hindsight I may have been a little juiced and over-excited, so I'm kinda relieved she never came back with that key, and I didn't end up with another souvenir t-shirt purchased while under the influence to join the others in the back of my closet.
And the third and final inspiration comes from the founder of Eggslut, Alvin Cailan, and watching him make a fried Spam breakfast sandwich (see the video below). Upon googling Spam to find out what exactly it is made of I got sucked down a processed meat wormhole, spending the better part of my afternoon reading all about Spam's origins, history and cultural significance. Contrary to being turned off, I came out the other side with a little bit of a craving for the stuff. It's popular and widely used in Hawaii, Japan, Korea and the Philippines and while it does contain many preservatives the rest of it is pretty straight forward: pork shoulder, salt, sugar and potato starch. Think of it as low rent charcuterie. I was particularly enamoured by this little selection of Spam recipes over here. Anyway, I'm not here to advocate the consumption of Spam...only to point out that maybe it's not as bad as it seems.
You could say that mortadella and spam are cousins, and you will find they behave in a very similar fashion when tossed in a frying pan. Thanks to its high fat content the mortadella goes golden and crispy in literally seconds. You can do it with thin sliced stuff, but I quite like to ask the man at the deli counter to slice it about half a centimetre thick so that you end up with a little mortadella steak. Pair it with some smoky paprika aioli, a fried egg, some cheese, green olives and super spicy honey and you got yourself one hell of a tasty little breakfast sandwich.
I have tendency to over complicate things when it comes to sandwiches, and when I served this to my boyfriend he remarked that he would have been equally pleased if it were just mayo, crispy mortadella, fried egg and cheese. And he's absolutely right. Some days you just don't want all those bells and whistles getting in the way of your breakfast, and I totally respect that.
Crispy Mortadella Sandwich
Makes 2 big ass sandwiches
2 slices of mortadella cut 1/2cm thick
1/2 cup of green olives, finely chopped
2 slices of cheese, we used smoked gouda but provolone would be ideal, or whatever you fancy
2 eggs, fried to your liking
Paprika mayo, use this recipe here, or simple whisk some smoked paprika through some mayo until incorporated
A drizzle of spicy bee sting honey (to make spicy honey of your own slice 5 super spicy birds eye chillis and mix with a cup of runny honey. Keep it in a jar and drizzle that shit on whatever you like...toast, pizza, sandwiches.)
2 ciabatta buns or focaccia bread
- Fry your mortadella steaks in a hot frying pan until brown and crispy on both sides.
- Slice each piece in to quarters
- Slather paprika mayo on all pieces of bread
- Put chopped green olives on the bottom pieces of bread
- Layer on the mortadella, cheese, fried egg and drizzle with chilli honey before topping with the remaining pieces of bread