Forgot where I originally saw this tip, so if this is yours, give me a shout and I will attribute you.
Cut an onion and pop out a couple rings to use as “molds” for the eggs. Lay them in a buttered skillet for a minute, then crack an egg in each. Cook until the eggs set and now you’ve got this neat little circle of onion and eggs. I’ve also seen this with rings cut from red or green peppers too, which I’m sure is pretty awesome as well. These turned out pretty good; will try some other variants sometime soon.
The thing I love about breakfast egg dishes is that it is almost impossible to screw them up. Throw in a little bit of what you have laying about and you’re bound to come up with something good. Case in point, my breakfast this morning. I had a few things freshly acquired from the farmer’s market, and wanted something light (no cheese), colorful and crunchy. This was the perfect breakfast for a cloudy, lazy and cool Los Angeles morning.
1 small orange sweet pepper
2-3 button mushrooms
3-4 leaves fresh basil
Handful of Pancetta Italian bacon, small cubes
Coarse sea salt
Ground black pepper
2 slices French bread
Melt some butter in a skillet and whack the french bread in the toaster or toaster oven. Start with the Pancetta for about a minute. Chop and add the mushroom and orange sweet pepper, stirring for another minute. Beat and add the 2 eggs atop the mixture. Sprinkle sea salt and crank some black pepper to taste. Using a wooden spoon and working the pan, shape/stir as an omelette, ensuring it doesn’t stick. It won’t be perfect, but just try for a roundish shape. Right before the eggs set, toss in some freshly chopped basil. Plate the toasted French bread, add a drizzle of olive oil and fold the omelette over it by tilting it out of the pan. Throw some jazz on, grab a newspaper (ahem, iPad), and enjoy your Sunday morning.
As much as I should try – I just can’t bring myself to eat breakfast during the week. It’s kind of sad, because breakfast foods are some of my favorites. On weekends, I enjoy putting something together after sleeping in just a bit. This morning I made a simple omelette. It’s been a couple years since I’ve had breakfast sausage in the fridge, so I carved off and threw a few slices of that in the pan to give me a starter base. If you ever want to really make the place smell great, just throw a pork product in your skillet. Beat a couple eggs until smooth. Tip: when you need to whisk together a couple of eggs, just use a coffee mug and a fork. No need for the bowl and whisk.
Once the sausage is cooked through, remove it, leaving the grease. You might want to stir it around a bit to distribute across the skillet before pouring on the egg mixture. As the eggs are starting to set, give them a couple cranks of black pepper and a pinch of coarse sea salt. Sprinkle on a handful of crumbled feta cheese, followed by a teaspoon of chopped basil. Once the eggs are softly set, fold gently with a spatula, then flip after about 30 seconds. Give it another 30 seconds before plating.
And there you have it. And now I’m going to have to run from here to Maine and back to work it off.
Another slow cooker recipe that you set up the night before. This one is a variation on a traditional casserole my mother would fix on Christmas morning in the oven. Being the lazy git that I am, I wanted to try it in a slow cooker so I could just stumble out to a hot breakfast. It is a muggy, rainy day this morning, so the timing worked out wonderfully. I put all this together in about five minutes at 11:30 last night, and had a great, filling breakfast this morning, with enough left over for a couple more servings.
- 1/2 cup diced hash browns
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup diced ham
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 slice bread, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
The most important step is to grease the pot with Crisco before adding the ingredients, otherwise you’ll be serving it with a chisel. Add the ingredients in layers: hash browns, ham, onions, bread, cheese, eggs. Then a dash of sea salt and a few cranks of pepper. Close it up and set it on low for about 8 hours. Serve with another dash of salt.
Before I get started – yes, I know that you can hack a grapefruit in half, pour some cereal or make a smoothie in less time. This, however, is a cooked meal. That involves some preparation – but not too much. The real skill is being able to do several things at once for it all to come together. In my career as a producer, I have to juggle a lot of things with a plan in mind to make sure they all neatly fold together at some common point. In this case, prep, seasoning, cleanup and plating can all be choreographed to a delicious finish.
Put your cast iron skillet on the stove and fire a burner up to high. While that’s heating up, throw a slice of bread into the toaster oven and start that toasting. Lay a few strips of bacon onto a microwave bacon tray, cover with a paper towel, and nuke it for 1 minute per slice. By now, your skillet should be hot. Throw a tablespoon of real unsalted butter (not that stuff from a tub) in the skillet and melt it down. Once the butter melts, give it about a minute to brown up. Brings out the flavor of whatever comes next – in this case a couple eggs.
Keeping it simple, let’s go for eggs over easy. Crack a couple eggs into the pan, keeping the yolks intact. Sprinkle with coarse grain sea salt, a few cranks of pepper (from a mill, not a red and white metal box!) and a dash of basil. When the whites start to set, flip them with a spatula and salt and pepper the other side.
Toast should be done by now. Butter and strawberry preserves works for me; top with whatever you like. The bacon should also be ready. Get them on the plate, followed by the eggs. Optional shake of hot sauce on the eggs will give them a little kick.
I like to clean up as I go. So as soon as I finish with an ingredient, I get rid of it. Put the bread away, butter, bacon, eggs and preserves back in the fridge. Rinse the bacon tray. At the end of this meal, you should just have a skillet that needs to cool a bit before rinsing and toweling dry.
Clock me: finished in 9:15.