Breakfast: The Cure-All Meal, Anytime of Day

A big breakfast is one of the most comforting meals this is. I’m talking about big fluffy biscuits, french toast, waffles, hashbrowns dripping with gooey cheese and hot sauce, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, baked frittatas, cinnamon rolls, grilled ham, fried sausages and—of course— bacon.

The insane amount of fat and carbs loaded into the body all at once somehow quells any worry and smothers all hunger. The greatest cultural development in the last century  is the combining of this massive meal with lunch and dinner, resulting in the aptly named “brunch” and the lesser known “bringer.”

Brunch is more popular on the weekends when it seems okay to spend an hour or two of the morning stuffing your gullet with high calorie foods washed down with a bellini or Bloody Mary. Bringer, on the other hand, is great for those long work days, when you getting home late and tired and hungry but don’t feeling like putting a lot of effort into the family meal. It’s a quick fix that fills you up and quiets the storm and stress of the day. Throw some good bread in the toaster. Make some cheesy scrambled eggs and lay out a pan of bacon to bake in the oven. It’s ready in fifteen minutes. Everyone is happy.

Cooking an excellent breakfast—no matter what time of day it is—depends on the quality of ingredients. Most often, there is very little manipulation involved in the cooking of bacon, eggs, and toast, so sourcing the best is key.

THE EGGS

It shouldn’t be too hard these days to find farm eggs at a local market, or maybe even in the  backyard of a friend with chickens that might have a surplus they are willing to share. Farm fresh eggs are generally more rich in color and flavor, with a darker orange yolk. I generally cook one and a half eggs per person. The key to great scrambled eggs is not to rush them. A great nonstick pan doesn’t hurt one bit, but you can suffer through the cleanup later if one is not available.

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Scrambled Eggs

1 1/2 Egg per person, thoroughly mixed

2 t Butter

1 t salt, or to taste

  1. Heat the nonstick pan to medium low heat, add the butter, eggs and salt.
  2. Once the eggs start to set, stir with a silicon spatula slowly, forming the curd of your eggs.
  3. Continue slowly stirring as the eggs cook.
  4. When they are well set, but still glossy, they are done.

 

THE BACON

The best eggs pair well with a great thick chunk of sourdough toast and a few slabs of crisp and smoky bacon. Finding the best bacon can be hard because there are so many options out there. You can even make it at home fairly easily if you have a couple of weeks to wait around for it to cure. You can go the local route  at certain butcher shops or at a farmers’ market. And, of course, Grass Roots will ship their bacon right to your front door.

Sometimes, if you can find it, it’s fun to try something a little different—like jowl bacon.  Jowl bacon is distinct because the fat ratio is a little higher. The jowl of the hog is one of its most used muscles, so the flavor is a little deeper, and it makes for a really special treat. Jowl is also used to make guanciale, an Italian style bacon that’s like a cousin to pancetta. Jowls are one of the greatest gifts a hog can give. Since the fat content is higher, I strongly suggest cooking the bacon in the oven. It is more consistent than a frying pan, and there is much less mess to deal with in the end. Also, the fat is usually perfectly rendered and easy to pour into a container to save for later use.

Perfectly Cooked Bacon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lay out a pound of bacon, jowl or otherwise, onto a baking pan and cook for about 7 minutes.
  3. Using a fork or tongs, turn the bacon over onto the other side and cook for another 4-8 minutes, depending on the preference of crispness.
  4. Remove from the sheet pan onto a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Reserve the rendered fat for later.
  6. Enjoy.