On Sunday mornings, the hubbs and I like to go out for breakfast when we can, but on those occasions when we don't, we'll usually whip up something a little bit more substantial than a bowl of cereal or our typical weekday fare, which is basically just a cup or two of coffee. (I know... shame on us!) All in all, it's just nice to have that time together, where we can slow life down a bit to enjoy a meal and just be together. As mundane as it might sound, it's one of the many little secrets that help to keep our close to 35 years as a couple strong, stable and most importantly, happy.
More often than not it seems that our Sunday morning treat ends up being a breakfast sandwich of some kind. The ingredients will vary slightly, based on what we happen to have in the larder at that particualar time. On this morning, we had some "off the bone" style ham from the deli, finely shredded Colby-Jack cheese, one bagel and a half loaf of left over artisan bread from a local bakery. It was a Tuscan style bread... I think.
Bagel, bagel... who gets the bagel? Well, this time, I drew the short straw and dear old hubby got the bagel, but to be honest, that was fine with me. I certainly enjoy a good bagel, but I'm also perfectly happy with a couple of slices of crusty toasted artisan bread. Hmmm. Come to think of it... Maybe I did get the better end of that deal. Whaddayathink?
- Bread, Hard Rolls, Bagels or English Muffins
- Ham (or Bacon or Sausage)
- Salt & Pepper
Just a note before I continue... It really helps if you have two people putting these sandwiches together, in a kind of assembly line fashion, because, 1. It all comes together pretty quickly and you want to keep all of the ingredients as hot or warm as possible and 2. It's actually more romantic that way. :~) (am I the only one noticing a theme here?)
OK. Start by preparing your bread, rolls, bagels, etc. You can pop them in the toaster or toaster oven, put them under the broiler for a minute or two, or grill them off in a heavy skillet. If you're using the broiler, skillet or a toaster oven, you can butter them before, or after. I like to toast or grill them first, then slather the butter on as soon as they're done. They turn out more brown and crunchy that way.
Next, in a large non-stick skillet, over medium to medium-high heat, fry up several slices of the ham. I don't do this in a stainless steel skillet because I'd have to add oil or butter to keep the meat from sticking. It's certainly not that I don't like butter, but there will be more than enough butter going into these sandwiches from the eggs (and the toast) by the time they're completed. Thinly sliced ham like this cooks up very quickly, so watch it closely and turn it a few times, just until the slices are heated through and lightly browned. You don't want it to be really crispy, like bacon. Well, I suppose you could, if you prefer it that way. Hah! Now that I've said that, it might not be such a bad thing. I'll have to try it some time...
Loosely pile the ham up on the bread/bagel/roll while it's still hot and add the cheese immediately. Doing this, as well as using a finely shredded cheese, will ensure that the cheese melts more quickly and it saves the added step of having to pop everything into the oven or under the broiler to melt the cheese.
These "sammies" make a quick and easy BFD ~ "breakfast for dinner", too. I'm sure you've done that before, right? We both grew up with mothers who made all types of BFD's, as did most of our friends. I don't know if it's a regional thing, or a generational one... All I know is that sometimes, this type of "fill up your belly without having to throw together a great big complicated dinner" meal is like comfort food for me. Every now and then, we'll feel a bit more fancy and we'll make French Toast or Eggs Benedict, instead. We probably have BFD about once a month. Especially in the colder weather.
I always crack my eggs into a separate bowl first. This way, I can see if there are any imperfections in the eggs, plus it makes it easier to slide them into the pan at the same time and that means that they'll cook more evenly. I guess you could call that a win/win/win situation?!
In the same non-stick skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter until it just begins to sizzle..
Slide the eggs into the pan and season them with some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I usually only fry 2 eggs at a time, because I'm an uncoordinated flipper. I've gotten better over the years, but try as I might, I still break one of the yolks about 50% of the time. We both prefer an over easy egg, but you can cook them any way you like. You can scramble them, poach them or make mini omelettes, if you prefer.
For over easy eggs, flip them over just as the whites are beginning to set and cook for about 45 seconds. If you prefer the yolks to be more firm, let them cook another minute. Any longer than that and you'll end up with rubbery eggs. To make sure that the yolk is fully cooked through, you can break it just before flipping. My brother always preferred his fried eggs that way. We called them "poked out" eggs.
Place the eggs on top of your crunchy, buttery, cheesy, hammy vehicle of choice and serve immediately.
Of course, I broke one of the yolks on the second batch. (as I said... it's 50/50) I kept that "poked out" egg for myself because, well... that's the kind of wife I am. ;~)
Mmmmm Mmmmm Good! Sounds like a great idea for Mother's Day breakfast in bed, doesn't it? Or maybe Father's Day... or Christmas morning... Or just good old fashioned BFD!? (Breakfast For Dinner)
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