Breakfast can be a challenging meal. Traditional fare is good, but one can get in a rut. Waking with a craving complicates the whole thing – what to do? A BLT sounded good, but so did simple toast and jammy eggs with bacon. Time to play with my food and get the best of both, with a twist, of course.
No recipe, just taking what was on hand and playing with it as described below.
Open Face BLT With Jammy Eggs
2 slices 21-grain toast
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
a big handful of curly endive lettuce torn from the stem
a generous handful of sliced grape tomatoes
3 slices of ready-to-eat bacon, crisped in the microwave for 30 seconds
a generous schmear of mayo
scant Tbsp olive oil
light splash of white vinegar
light sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper
Bring enough water in a small pan to a boil; gently lower two eggs into water and simmer for EXACTLY seven minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath for two and a half minutes, remove from ice water and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet, add sliced tomatoes and sauté until soft and getting a little char. Add endive and let wilt, you might need to add a Tbsp of water (use twice as much as you think you need because is loses volume when cooked). Stir in a light splash of white vinegar and a very little pinch of salt.
Toast bread, schmear with mayo and top each with a cheese slice while toast is hot. Add cooked tomatoes and endive. Halve bacon slices and put three pieces on top of tomatoes and endive. Peel jammy eggs (start on the big end where the bubble is), place on sandwich and slice in half. Sprinkle eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
The Whyfors (Whyfor did I do that?)
Think about the flavors of the ingredients and what you can do with them. Multigrain toast, mayo and sharp cheddar is a great foundation for any sandwich, open-face or closed. Traditional bacon, lettuce and tomato are a wonderful filling. Cooking sliced grape tomatoes a little enhances the sugar in them and kicks them up a couple of notches. Curly endive is tantalizingly bitter. Cooking it reduces its bitter bite and a little white vinegar takes out a little more of the bitter while emphasizing the sweetness of the tomatoes. The eggs feature cooked whites and a thickened “jammy” yolk that gives the whole sandwich wonderfully rich mouthfeel and flavor.
Modesty forbids my raving (too much) about this creation. Odds are it will be breakfast again this morning and a regular on the morning menu until the next idea comes along.
After making the earlier post, I had to rush out the the kitchen an play with this idea more for this morning’s breakfast. I did a few things differently. I put the sliced grape tomatoes in a heated dry pan and let them yield some juice and take on a little char. Then I added a Tbsp of water and cooked it off to steam the tomatoes and cook them faster. When they were tender, I added the endive. I added twice as much as I did yesterday and think it would be good to add even more. I added 2 Tbsp water with the greens and cooked it off to steam-wilt them and get a little darker. When the water was cooked off, I added it and stirred the tomatoes and endive until the vinegar had mostly evaporated. Cooking the vegetables both ways tasted about the same because of the vinegar. The advantage of the dry pan and water is that there was no spatter mess as there was with olive oil. I plated one open-face BLT and one with a jammy egg. The were equally good, but I do have a weakness for jammy eggs any number of ways.
As I enjoyed this breakfast, I thought about how it might be with English muffin, Swiss cheese, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Watch this space and see what happens.