Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Treatise on Breakfast Sandwiches

McMuffin McSchmuffin -- Ain't got nuthin' on me!

Due to the loss of a wrestling match between my body and gestational diabetes, I have had to revamp my diet a bit. Thus, the sad demise of most breakfast cereals as a part of my breakfast routine (the carbohydrates are in and out of my system faster than you can say greyhound). However, all is not loss. The ensuing reacquaintance with breakfast sandwiches a la dad-style (the high chef of egg-dom) has been a high point in my mornings. This reunion has been so intense an experience that lover-like (no, I'm not jumping on a couch), I must tell the world how they too can experience this wonderful, nay, sublime thing called breakfast sandwich.

For me, the sandwich consists of toast or english muffin (though bagels are also appropriate if carbs are not an issue), egg, ham, and cheddar cheese....of course a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper and judicious use of salt are also appropriate.

To make a sublime sandwich:

First, plan portion size of ingredients to match your toast size -- we don't want naked toast edges. Then prep the stage by inserting toast item (I'll say english muffin) into toaster, but don't push the button until you are ready to start cooking the egg..after all, who wants cold toast?

Slice your cheese...thinnish, but not too thin, we like cheese (right Wallace?). The right idea is thin enough to melt up all gooey, but thick enough to get a really good cheesy taste.

Get your ham out and ready -- no fumbling whilst the egg overcooks and the toast gets cold or (gasp) too toasty. I use 3-4 slices of smoked ham lunch meat. Tip -- Land'o'Lakes is nice and thin and just about the right size to slightly overlap an english muffin (whole grain, of course).

Small frying pan on the stove with appropriate lubricant (I use margarine -- no trans or saturated fat) and whole egg or eggs at the ready.

Now the next step is up to you to know your toaster and stove. I have a slow toaster that requires 1.5 cycles to adequately toast my muffin and gas stove which cooks really fast. Therefore I start the toaster just before I put the heat to the pan, but if you have a fast toaster and slow electric range, you will have to adjust accordingly to get everything hot and ready at the same time...this is a skill that is useful to have in many aspects of daily life....hmmm. ;)

So, crack your egg into the hot pan. Try to keep the edges to roughly the same size as your toast item. Break the yolk, and season to taste (Jason likes Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning on his, but I'm a traditional salt and pepper gal). Now it's critical to not overcook your egg or my dad will turn over in the grave that he does not yet inhabit.

Once the egg has set on one side, turn over. Put cheese on cooked side of egg and cover with ham. Now I just wait about 30 seconds before killing the heat (your egg will continue to cook through the wonders of carry-over heat). Then after another 30 seconds or so, I flip the eggy bit back over onto the other side to warm the ham and finish melting the cheese.

When your toast is ready and the cheese is melty put it all together and experience your own love affair with the breakfast sandwich...though with the cheese properly melty, the ham and egg like to head their separate ways enroute to the toast item, but this disaster is easily averted by the forewarned and therefore forearmed.

Word to the wise -- you will need a napkin (or two). I said it was sublime not neat.

This creation is only limited by your pantry and imagination. If you are feeling Continental, you could use mozzarella and salame with a slice of tomato. All American today? Perhaps a little pepper jack and a sausage patty (though cook the sausage before beginning -- but be sure and fry that egg in the tasty fat!). Who's to say you couldn't do a little Wensleydale, eh Grommit? Perhaps with bacon, because of course everything is better with bacon.......mmmmm BACON......aghalaahgalgh.....

I'm interested to hear about your personal forays into the bright new world that is breakfast sandwich, but for now I hear my breakfast calling....


Jason R. Clark said...

As a recent recipient of just such a breakfast sandwich, I can testify that everything she says is true. Go forth and make your own breakfast sandwiches soon!

w said...

I'm a little embarrassed to say that this is the first post on your blog I'm reading (it is Jan.'08), because I *love* egg sandwiches. I'll read more tomorrow... :)