Okay friends, this is for anyone who mistakenly believes that all our meals are elaborately fancy. They’re not.
Sometimes I just want a simple fried egg sandwich. (Even for lunch, or dinner – who doesn’t love brunch or brinner??? Not this girl!) But I also can’t help myself; if we have the ingredients on hand, you bet’yer britches that I’m gonna’ jazz it up a bit.
So today after church, feeling that usual Sunday-afternoon-sleepy, I thought to myself, “hmmm… what can I make that’s quick and easy and satisfyingly delicious?” (Oh and healthy. Healthy is always on the back of my mind, but sometimes I forget to acknowledge it.)
(Obviously we’ve all heard of the Egg McMuffin. Well this is the much cheaper, Zoe-Baloney-ed, DIY version. Made with real, fresh ingredients, not mystery fast-food-what’s-really-in-it? ingredients, so you don’t even have to worry about how yummy it is, because you know exactly what’s in it!)
***Please be warned, if the mere thought of a runny egg makes you queasy, this post probably isn’t for you. Especially don’t look at the picture below, because it’s filled with golden-glory that you just can’t handle. I say this because I love you, and I don’t want to make you puke.***
Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich):
- english muffin
- 1 egg
- 1-3 slices of tomato (depends on if you’re using the roma or beefsteak variety)
- 1 slice of your favorite cheese (or a serving of shredded cheese, or cream cheese, yes, cream cheese, or even better yet, veggie-cream cheese! I have a home-made version that we love, but I’ll save that for another post.)
- 1-2 TBSP butter (optional)
- 1-2 bacon strips
- salt, pepper, paprika to taste (Smoked paprika is extravagantly good, but can be hard to find.)
Directions: (this really doesn’t need instructions, but it wouldn’t be a food blog if I didn’t include them, right?)
Pop your english muffin in the toaster and toast to your liking (I like mine dark and crispy, so I tend to start it early. If you prefer yours light and just slightly warmed, then wait till a little further to actually start toasting it – but still go ahead and get it settled in its little muffin tanning bed now.)
If you’re cooking for one or two, grab your medium, non-stick frying pan. Three or more, you’ll want to break out the big guns. (And if you have a whole griddle, invite the whole family over. Also, I’m jealous.)
You may remember from my last post (Scones to start!) I prefer to bake my bacon, and save the surplus. So for this I just grabbed my ready-to-heat bacon. If you haven’t yet made it on the bake-your-bacon-bandwagon, start that sizzle! The only downside to baking your bacon is that previously (on special occasions) when we make bacon and eggs, we cook the bacon first, drain out some of the grease, but leave enough in to fry our eggs. Oh-so-bad for you, but oh-so-delicious! (Hence the “only on special occasions.”)
Anyhow, if you’re frying your bacon, do that, leave a little grease if you’re feeling indulgent and skip the butter. If you’re taking the quick-and-easy route, melt your butter in the pan, but try to keep a small portion of your pan butter free to heat up your bacon. (You could also use a microwave, but we chose to get rid of ours. We’re really going old-school, here.)
Place your bacon on the butter free part (it’s okay if it gets a little buttery, I’m just trying to pretend that maybe this is a healthy meal). Crack open your eggs into the hot butter and fry, again, to your liking.
I prefer mine with runny yokes (drool). No lie, I treat that over-flowing-yolk like a 5 star dressing, using my sandwich to wipe up every last drop. Ben and Milo like theirs fried hard. So I put their eggs in first, using the shell to break and gently scramble the yoke a little (a trick I learned in college from my dear friend Christina). Next, I gently drop my egg into the cooking butter and cook mine over easy (medium-easy to play it a little safer for baby-squirrel).
Using a plastic spatula (metal utensils will scratch and deteriorate the non-stick coating on your pan), I’ll push in and manipulate the size/shape of the frying egg so that it’ll fit nicely on the muffin, even with the egg-over-medium-easy. Carefully flip them after a few minutes, reshaping as needing.
Momma Kathy Food Safety Warning: Because this was so strictly enforced when I was growing up, I feel the need to remind you of the salmonella PSA. Raw/undercooked eggs carry a risk of salmonella, which could make you really, horribly, violently sick. There, I said it. You’re welcome, mom.
(I was never allowed to eat cookie dough, or try anything with raw egg in it… Though I would always sneak some when she wasn’t looking. I’m such a rebel. The days when my womb was free from human-building-responsibilities – as in, not currently, but worth the wait – I would make brownies just to lick the bowl. I love me some raw dough/batter/yum.)
Remove the bacon when it’s done (it’ll be ready sooner than the eggs), and in its place, drop your tomato slices. Trust me. (You could leave them raw, especially if they’re from-your-garden-vine-ripened-gloriously-red, but slightly “grilled” is really, really good, too!)
By now, your muffin should be nice and Florida-dark-tanned (or at least warm). Plate it, butter if you like. (Though with butter-fried eggs and bacon, I personally think that’s just too much butter, but then there’s my son who’ll eat it straight if you’re not careful.)
Put your slice of cheese (or sprinkle some of the shredded cheese, or schmear on that cream cheese) on the bottom, sprinkle with paprika, layer on your fried egg, more paprika then your bacon, then your tomato (salt and pepper if desired). And hey, while we’re add it, let’s add some more cheese on top, because dairy is good for you! (Unless you’re lactose-intolerant, in which case, I’m sorry, we eat a lot of dairy in this household; probably with every meal. Here’s hoping you have an equally tasty alternative!)
Now cut that sandwich in half and squeal in delight as the yolk starts oozing out. (For all you yolk-haters, sorry to you as well… I’m sure that doesn’t make you love it any more.)