Friday, June 12, 2009

breaking the fast

Food wise there are few things as perfectly simple as the sandwich and no meal tastier than breakfast. Ipso facto the breakfast sandwich is quite possibly the world’s perfect food.

My love for breakfast between bread started early on in life when my mom would take my brother and me to McDonald’s for breakfast some mornings before school. A sausage McMuffin with egg, hash browns, and hot cocoa was quite possibly the greatest thing my young pallet had ever wrapped itself around.

As nice a treat as this was I yearned for that goodness regularly until my mom started making homemade variations for my brother and me. Kicking things up a notch or two, mom constructed ours on bagels with real cheese and fresh cooked bacon.

As I learned to cook for myself more and more this was a dish a quickly added to my repertoire and one I have been tinkering with ever since.

Herein is my preparation method for the most currant, and so far favorite, permutation of the breakfast sandwich. Enjoy!

Frying pan, preferably non-stick
Toaster or toaster oven
Pan lubricant

One large egg
English muffin, split
1 slice or small hand full of cheese
Morningstar Farms breakfast patty
Salt and pepper

How to do it:
Start by heating your pan over medium-high heat (7 on our cook top), splitting the English muffin, get cheese from the fridge, assembling seasonings, and finding plates.
Once pan is reasonably hot spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray (if you’re using butter or oil add it while the pan is still cold)
Break one large egg into hot pan and season with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you might be using.
Starting the toaster sometime now is a good idea so your bread is ready the same time your egg is, but use your judgment based on your toaster’s speed.
When the egg just begins to set break the yolk and scramble the white for a few seconds the reshape your egg to fit the bread.
Allow the egg to continue cooking this way for a minute or two, or until the sides set.
Once the egg is solidified enough to flip with out running all over the pan turn off the heat, flip the egg, and add your cheese.
After a minute or so in the hot pan on the burner remove the pan from heat. Residual heat from the pan will finish any cooking that needs to be done, melt the cheese, and prevent your egg from becoming too dry or firm.
Cook your breakfast patty in the microwave per the box’s instructions, 30 second per side I believe.
By the time the patty is cooked your cheese should be sufficiently melty, and your English muffin toasted, assemble, season to taste and enjoy!

A good seasoning combination I’ve been using a lot lately, in addition to the salt and pepper, is chipotle powder and some cayenne pepper. Smokey, spicy, and delicious!
I prefer cooking the breakfast patty in a skillet, it tastes a little better but takes much longer so I usually don’t.
I usually use non-stick cooking spray for convenience but if you use butter or oil sautéing some garlic in it is definitely a good thing.
If you love bacon—and I know you do!—fry up 2 pieces of bacon in your pan until they’re cooked slightly below the doneness you desire. Once they’ve reached this state remove them from the pan and cut into bite-sized pieces. Return the bacon to the pan and cook the egg as suggested above. Almost anything cooked in bacon drippings is immediately 10-to-15 times better!


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