Taylor Ham Egg and Cheese

I already have a recipe for Taylor Ham (or Pork Roll if you are from South Jersey). This is a recipe to put the WHOLE THANG together into a classic Taylor Ham Egg and Cheese sandwich.

The main addition is the EGG. I made the egg yolk with a sunflower seed and roasted pepper base–it is similar to my sunflower cheese, but runnier a little more pungent. The egg white is made with simple pan-fried tofu.

This “egg” honestly does not taste exactly like egg, but I’ve experimented with other recipes that call for kala namak, also known as Indian black salt. kala namak is used for its sulfury flavor, and I really like it in tofu egg salad and deviled potatoes (basically anything traditionally made with hard boiled eggs), but after experimenting with it for egg yolks, I decided that it was too strong. Maybe I’m misremembering, but I don’t think egg yolks have the same stinky taste as hard boiled eggs.

Long story long, the tofu and sunflower sauce is supposed to mimic the look and feel of a fried egg. My taste tester LOVED it and even said it tasted eggy before he figured out it was roasted peppers. That’s the power of our eyes when it comes to food!

I honestly didn’t eat this sandwich much as a kid. I remember Taylor Ham always being chopped up in scrambled eggs, but I do know this sandwich is a–no–THE Jersey classic, so I wanted to recreate it this way to get the full experience.

Recipe

Makes 6 sandwiches
Total Time: 1 hour (including roasting the peppers), Active Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Egg Yolk
1/2 cup sunflower seeds*
1 cup water
1 roasted yellow bell pepper
1 roasted orange bell pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the Egg White
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
1-2 tablespoons neutral oil, for frying
salt and pepper, to taste

To prepare the sandwiches
1 batch Taylor Ham
2 Tablespoons neutral oil, for frying
12 slices meltable vegan cheddar cheese (I used Daiya)
6 buns or rolls

Instructions

  1. To roast the peppers: preheat the over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare peppers onto a lined baking sheet (I used a silicone liner). Once the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with the peppers into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping the peppers halfway. You will know when they are done when they are charred on both sides. Remove from the oven and, when they are cool to the touch, remove their skins with your hands. They will be soft enough that you should be able to also core the peppers with your hands.
  2. Add all of the egg yolk ingredients to a blender and blend. Add a few splashes of water if mixture is thick.
  3. After pressing the tofu (Either with a tofu press/heavy book or gently with your hands over the sink), slice into 1/2 inch thick slabs. They should be about the size of a (square) egg that you might get in a fast food breakfast sandwich. You should end up between 6-8 slabs.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil to the pan (just enough to coat), and place the 2-3 of the tofu slabs in. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the tofu to sit for 2-3 minutes and flip. Do not flip too early or tofu will stick. Season the other side with salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat until all of your tofu is cooked.
  5. In the same pan, add a good slick of neutral oil, probably about two tablespoons but you may need more or less, and keep the heat on medium. Thinly slice the Taylor ham log.** Fry the Taylor ham slices for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are firm and seared.
  6. To assemble the sandwich: Toast your bread with the meltable vegan cheese. I placed 1 slice of cheese on both buns but how much cheese you like is up to you. You can melt the cheese in a toaster oven or in a pan with a lid. Once the bread is toasted and the cheese melted, you can layer on the Taylor ham, tofu egg white, and sunflower seed egg yolk. My lovely taste taster liked it with lots of sunflower yolk, so he layered it with sunflower yolk on the bottom bun, then 1 tofu egg, then more sunflower yolk, then another tofu egg, then more sunflower yolk, and finally 5 slices of Taylor ham. The way you layer the sandwich and how big you want it is up to you. I suggest having several thin slices of Taylor ham though!
  7. You can store all of the components in the fridge for at least five days. You can reheat the sandwich components in a microwave and then assemble OR you can toast everything together in the toaster oven (bread will be crunchier this way).

Notes

*If you do not have a highspeed blender, soak your sunflower seeds for at least 2 hours, preferably for 4-8 hours.
**I recently got into sourdough baking and invested in a bread knife. Little did I know that this bread knife is excellent for slicing Taylor ham! If you have a sharp serrated knife/good bread knife, use this to slice your Taylor ham. Otherwise, your slices will come out thick (still delicious), and, if you’ve ever bought pre-sliced Taylor ham, you know that the slices are usually very thin.

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