Open-faced croque-madame sandwiches.
Hot and humid today. Who wants to cook? Even more significantly: Who wants to eat in this weather? (Okay, okay; I'll concede that I usually want to eat even in this weather.) But didn't everyone learn from last night that water balloon fights are better than dinner? Didn't I take them out for ice cream at 4:30 for the express (if unstated) purpose of spoiling their appetites for dinner?
We did; I did. None of it worked, none of it ever works, and they still expect food to be served at some point between 5 and 8 p.m.
This sandwich is a low-key, superfast, hot-weather version of a classic croque-madame. The classic version involves a butter-rich sauce and requires three separate pans, the oven, and two separate cooking processes on the cooktop. Too heavy; too much heat; too much effort for this weather.
My version is much lighter and takes like seven minutes, about the length of time it takes to fry an egg. For each sandwich, toast a slice of sourdough bread. While it's toasting, melt a little butter in a non-stick pan and start frying an egg in it. While the egg is frying, top the toast with a couple of slices of good-quality smoked ham from the deli counter. Top that with one or two slices of your preferred hard cheese--classic is Swiss or gruyere, but I used colby-jack because I am not French and it's 102 out and screw it. Microwave it just until the cheese starts to melt, maybe 30 seconds--don't let the cheese get runny (again, with the microwave? Not French, 102 out). When the egg is done to your liking, put it on top of the sandwich, add salt and pepper to taste.