Savory Cheddar Waffle BLT with Egg
The trusty lunch-counter trinity of bacon, lettuce, and tomato takes the form of breakfast here, sandwiched between savory bacon and cheddar waffles and topped by a fried egg with crisp edges and a luxuriously molten yolk. You can wrap the whole thing up and eat it on the run, or cook up some hash browns and enjoy breakfast at home.
For the waffles:
- 12 thick-cut bacon slices (about 1 pound)
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, as needed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded Irish cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces), such as Dubliner
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 6 large eggs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
- 12 romaine lettuce leaves
Special equipment: In our tests, we preferred a 5-inch square classic waffle iron to cook the batter. A Belgian-style waffle iron yielded waffles too large and thick for this sandwich.
What to buy: Irish cheddar, often labeled Kerrygold or Dubliner, is an aged cow’s-milk cheese that has the sharpness of cheddar combined with the hard, crumbly texture of Parmesan. You can find it in the dairy section of most well-stocked grocery stores or online.
Game plan: You can make the waffles ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours or freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, toast in a 325°F oven directly on the rack until warmed through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
For the waffles:
- 1Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- 2Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until browned and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to a large, paper-towel-lined plate; set aside.
- 3Carefully pour the bacon fat from the baking sheet into a heatproof measuring cup—you will need 1/2 cup. If you don’t have enough bacon fat, add the melted butter as needed. Reduce the oven temperature to 225°F.
- 4Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
- 5Place the eggs in a second large bowl and whisk until just broken up. Add the milk and, while whisking, slowly pour in the bacon fat (or bacon fat–butter mixture) until evenly combined. Add the cheese and stir until combined.
- 6Add the milk-cheese mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the flour is just incorporated and no streaks remain (the batter may have a few lumps); set aside.
- 7Heat a classic (not Belgian) waffle iron to medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill it with batter, close the lid, and cook until the waffle is golden brown (when the steam starts to diminish from the waffle iron, you can open the top and peek for doneness). Transfer directly to a rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have 12 waffles, placing the cooked waffles in a single layer on the rack in the oven.
- 1Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat until foaming, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- 2Swirl the butter in the pan until the bottom is evenly coated. Add 3 of the eggs, season with salt and pepper, and fry undisturbed until the whites are set and starting to brown on the edges but the yolks are still runny, about 4 to 5 minutes. (The egg whites will be fully cooked, so no need to flip the eggs over.) Remove to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining butter and eggs.
- 3Spread the mayonnaise on half of the waffles and top each with a fried egg. Divide the tomato and lettuce over the eggs, top with the bacon slices, and close with the remaining waffles.
- 4If serving immediately, cut each sandwich in half. To pack for transport, wrap the whole sandwiches in parchment paper, cut in half, and wrap again in more parchment paper.