I've finally given up trying to be dairy- and gluten-free. It was easier when I could still eat dairy, but ever since I found out that I was lactose intolerant, my diet has been tougher to manage. It's also a bit difficult in France, at least here in the South, where gluten-free products are not as available and affordable. I know that I can and should make my own, but certain gluten-free grains have not arrived either, nor has time and energy been on my side. One can only take brown/white rice, grain or flour, for so long before the taste and texture gets old. I have always loved bread, and I really missed it. And being dairy-free in a dairy-loving country is difficult enough. With no medical evidence of gluten intolerance (just subjective observations), I decided to leak a bit back into the diet. I can't tell if it has or will cause any negative side effects, but so far, it's been okay.
The one best thing since re-introducing wheat is the French baguette. So tender, chewy, and slightly salty. If only I could slather some butter on it, then I would be in heaven!! But alas...at least I could enjoy a baguette again. Aside from the baguette has been sandwiches. I've always missed the variety and complexities of sandwiches in the US. The closest here is probably Subway (blashphemy?!), but one can only tolerate Subway for so long (the flavours are still not the same). In the end, I got around to making my own, and the one sandwich that repeatedly called was a fried egg sandwich. I've always loved how the runny yolk soaks into the butter-toasted bread, with the cheese providing the added creaminess and the ham the necessary saltiness. I remember a scene from a movie where the chef was making a fried egg sandwich, and I could not help but salivate at the moment he cut the sandwich in half and the yolk spilled all over the sandwich. If only I could recreate that.
My biggest obstacle was the lack of a non-stick pan. Tried as I have, I've never successfully fried a beautiful egg in a stainless steel pan, and more often than not, the yolk gets broken in the process of scraping the egg off the pan. Then there are the missing butter and cheese. Still, I plainly toasted some bread, fried an egg (finishing cooking the top part in the grill/broiler to avoid flipping), and obtained the desired result of yolk-soaking-bread. I also tried adding mayonnaise, but I think the best combination thus far is an egg with minced tomatoes and mashed avocado. Having said that, I just ran into a recipe for a BLT fried egg sandwich (from Adam Sandler's movie "Spanglish"), and it looked just mouth-wateringly delicious. But regardless of the combination, it's that yolk on bread that counts. Give it a go if it's something that you love and haven't had in a while. If you've never had it, then it's a must try. You certainly won't regret it. =)