Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Freiburger Kaeseschnitten - Baked Open-faced Swiss Cheese Sandwiches

A Kaeseschnitt (the singular) is usually baked and served in an individual oval gratin dish. If you’re baking multiple sandwiches, as we do here, and don’t have individual baking dishes, bake them on a parchment paper lined­­­–jellyroll pan and quickly slide them to warm plates before serving. Makes 4 substantial sandwiches

Four 3/4-inch- thick slices cut from Sourdough or any gutsy country-style bread, lightly toasted

2 to 3 tablespoons dry white wine

12 ounces Swiss Gruyère or Vacherin Fribourgeois, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

4 large eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four individual gratin dishes, bottoms lightly buttered, or one jellyroll pan lined with parchment paper

  1. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400˚F.
  2. Arrange a slice of the toasted bread in the bottom of each gratin dish and sprinkle the bread with a little of the white wine.
  3. Top the bread with the slices of cheese, covering the bread completely as any exposed bread surface might burn while baking.
  4. Get everything ready to fry the eggs.
  5. A few minutes before you’re going to serve the Kaeseschnitten, place the gratin dishes in the oven and decrease the temperature to 375˚F.
  6. To fry the eggs, melt the butter in a wide non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. One at a time, crack an egg into a cup and slip it into the pan. Regulate the heat so that the eggs start to set but don’t sizzle as they’re cooking. Cook the eggs until the whites are completely set and the yolks have thickened and warmed, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Check the bread and cheese before the eggs are ready. The melted cheese is ready when it’s bubbling just a little. If the cheese gets too hot, some of it will bubble off the bread onto the pan or it will become dry and crusty on top. Quickly remove the gratin dishes from the oven to the stovetop when they are ready.
  8. Salt and pepper the eggs and use a wide spatula to slide an egg onto each of the Kaeseschnitten. Set each gratin dish on a plate and serve immediately. If you don’t have the individual dishes, use a wide spatula to transfer each Kaeseschnitt to a warmed plate and top each with an egg.