James Bond often has two of something – a double espresso, a double bourbon, a double-0 number. Even his club sandwich, eaten by him in Thunderball (1961), is a double-decker. In Live and Let Die (1954), though, he goes one better. Waking at midday in a motel in Tampa Bay (he’d been having a rough time of it, not least discovering that his best friend had been mauled by a shark), Bond orders a triple-decker western sandwich. He thought it was delicious. And no wonder – it’s an omelette sandwich. What could be better for a man who lives on eggs?
Inspired by the fact that for Bond the sandwich is essentially breakfast, my version of the western sandwich (also known as a Denver sandwich) uses muffins, rather than ordinary bread. It’s not a triple-decker, but two sandwiches per person should more than compensate and set one up for the day.
- 2-3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- Half a green bell pepper (c. 35-40g), deseeded and finely chopped
- 40-50g ham, roughly chopped
- 4 large eggs
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp finely chopped parsley
- Pinch salt and black pepper
- 4 (English) muffins
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
In a deep frying pan, heat the oil over a medium flame, then add the shallots and green pepper, frying the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 3 or 4 minutes until they have softened. While the vegetables are cooking, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk.
Add the ham, salt, black pepper, mustard powder and parsley to the pan, mix, then pour in the eggs. Stir the mixture around to evenly spread the egg and coat the ingredients well, then let the egg cook for a few minutes until it has set on the bottom. If the pan is oven-proof, pop the pan under a hot grill or in a hot oven for about 5 minutes to cook and brown the top of the omelette. Alternatively, use a plate to flip the omelette over and cook the other side.
Once the omelette is cooked (it should be set all the way through), remove from the oven or grill and let it rest for a couple of minutes. As it does so, slice each muffin in half and toast. Butter the toasted muffins, cut the omelette into portions and assemble the sandwiches. (For a cheffy touch, use a chef’s ring to create neat, muffin-sized omelette discs.)