Friday, September 26, 2008

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against fast food. I am a big fan of the various chains and the delicious, savory sandwiches, and crispy tater tots they serve. I am, by no means, a health nut.

But I am not a fan of going out in rainy, cold weather to get my food. So one rainy morning in college, when I was too reluctant and too cash-strapped to walk across campus to buy breakfast, I had a brilliant idea, “Why not make the sandwich in my very own kitchen?”

The beauty of cooking at home is that you can adjust the ingredients to your taste and make lighter, healthier versions. This, of course, only works if you have all the ingredients in your kitchen, which I didn’t always have in college.

When I finally had all the ingredients on hand, I faced another problem – timing. If you toast the bread first, then it will be cold by the time the eggs and bacon are done, and vice versa. Then there was the challenge of getting the cheese to melt perfectly. One method I tried, which was inspired by a Brooklyn deli sandwich, was enveloping the cheese within the egg while the egg cooked to make a sort of egg and cheese omelet within the sandwich. The result was delicious, but made for messy, gooey eating.

So this is the method that I developed over years of trial and error and it is the method I used today on this rainy and cold morning.

2 slices of whole wheat bread (or bagel, or English muffin, or biscuit)
1 large egg
2 slices of low-sodium bacon (or turkey bacon, or ham)
1 slice of American cheese (or any other cheese you desire)
1 pat of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the bread into the toaster oven, so it will be ready to go, but do not toast it yet.
2. Melt butter in pan set at medium-low heat. While the butter is melting, scramble the egg
3. Once the butter has melted and is starting to foam, throw in the egg and cook until it reaches desired doneness. Set the egg aside on a plate and add salt and pepper.
4. Raise the heat on the pan to medium or medium-high heat. Begin cooking bacon.
5. When it is time to flip the bacon, hit the switch on the toaster to toast the bread.
6. When bacon is done (I prefer my bacon to be chewy rather than burnt to a crisp, so this usually means about 3-4 minutes on each side.), set aside on a paper towel to drain.
7. Right about now, the toast should be done toasting. Take it out and immediately assemble the sandwich so that the cheese is touching the bread. The heat from the bread needs to melt the cheese.
8. If, during this time, your sandwich seems to be a bit cold, place it back in the toaster oven for about another minute or two.
9. Enjoy with a cup of home-brewed coffee or tea!
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