Strammer Max is a very easy to make hot, open-faced sandwich hailing from Germany. Sliced hearty bread is lightly toasted and buttered, then topped with cured ham (such as prosciutto) and finished with a fried egg. With a handful of basic ingredients, you can create this classic satisfying sandwich in hardly any time at all.
2slicescountry bread or rye bread(each a minimum of ½ inch thick)
2tablespoonsbutter,at room temperature
4slicescured ham(such as prosciutto)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives,for garnish (optional)
Lightly toast the bread slices and allow them to cool (or don’t toast at all if you prefer). Spread each slice of bread on one side with soft butter (if the bread is hot the butter will just melt).
Top each slice of bread with 2 slices of cured ham.
Heat a lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add the eggs, being careful not to break the yolks. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny.
Gently place 1 fried egg on each of your sandwiches. If desired, top each sandwich with some chopped chives. Serve immediately.
In Germany, Strammer Max is usually made with thick, hearty, seeded German bread which is not usually toasted. If you don't live in Germany and you don't have any German bakeries in your area, you'll likely want to use a rustic country bread, rye (I use marble rye in this post) or another hearty seeded dark bread. In these cases, I lightly toast it, but it's a matter of preference and you can leave it untoasted if you prefer.
I suggest using imported prosciutto rather than a domestic prosciutto. The difference in quality is noticeable, as is the price, but it's definitely worth it. Don't skimp here. I like prosciutto di Parma, but you could also try prosciutto di San Daniele which is sweeter (less salty) and fattier, but even more expensive. Jamón Serrano (Serrano ham) from Spain is also another cured ham option you can try.
When frying eggs, I like to start them on medium heat then lower the heat to medium-low. At that point I cover the pan for a few minutes to help the whites set around the edges of the yolk. Just keep a close eye so the yolks stay bright yellow and don’t cook. When the whites at the very edges of the yolk start to set and turn opaque, the eggs are done.