This is not going to be one of those RECIPE BLOG POSTS where you first must endure a wall of text about the author’s magical visit to Tuscany where they met Mime King Marcel Marceau and picked fresh herbs while simultaneously making love to a secret paramour who then cooked them a frittata so wondrous it made them pregnant with a baby Iron Chef. It’s also not going to be one of the ones where I provide you with easy-to-gather ingredient lists, because I am a monster. It’s mostly just, hey, breakfast is good. I like breakfast. You like breakfast, unless you’re a face-stealing Hellgoblin — are you? A face-stealing Hellgoblin? No? Then prove it with your love of breakfast.
Mostly I just figure, I want to talk about some stuff other than the nightmare pit that opened up underneath us in the prior 4-5 years, and it’s honestly been a while since I catapulted a “””recipe””” into your eyeballs. And we are in a country now in dire need of unity, and there is no greater bridge to build between people than breakfast. We all eat it. We all like it. Except goblins. And goblins aren’t Americans or even citizens of the world, but rather, creatures that emerge from the steaming sulphur sphincters that lead straight to Hell. They are joy-hating mine-crawlers, and you can tell they’re evil because they don’t like breakfast.
Here, then, are some breakfast foods I make in the morning for myself, my wife, my child, or the various people I have trapped in my cellar. Ha ha ha just kidding I don’t have people in my cellar. They’re in the attic! Where there’s a view!
B-Dub’s Breakfast Buddy
My kid is generally not a fickle eater. He’ll eat… nnnyeah, mostly anything. His first time eating calamari, we put the plate down and he didn’t even ask what it was, he just started eating it. We were like, “You know that’s squid, right?” And he shrugged and kept going. He’s a good eater. One of his favorite foods is Brussels sprouts (my recipe for those little demon cabbages here). Long as something isn’t too spicy, he’s in.
I don’t know what happened there. He loved eggs. Eggs were a comfort food. Then he went over another kid’s house, and the Dad was both vegan and an asshole, and the veganism isn’t the problem, but the asshole part definitely is, and somehow our son emerged from that experience hating eggs. I dunno why. He swears nobody told him that eggs were bad. But we also know that guy has turned other kids away from eating non-vegan foodstuffs with some real horror stories. We tried to tell him, “You know you’re not eating baby chickens, right, there’s no baby chicken in here,” and he seems to get that? But he won’t eat eggs anymore.
(My grandmother, Mom-Mom, wouldn’t eat cheese, though she’d eat anything else. She could detect the presence of cheese on an incoming meal when the waitress was still twenty feet from the table. She also lived to 89, and survived with mesothelioma for six years after they gave her six months, so who knows. Maybe not eating cheese is good.)
(I mean, I’m still going to eat cheese. I mean, obviously, JFC.)
(This is fast turning into my Magical Visit to Tuscany, isn’t it?)
(Oh well. This content is free!)
POINT IS, removing eggs from breakfast options was tricky at first because, honestly, breakfast is a world built on eggs, at least in our house. Further, the kidlet still wanted a breakfast sandwich to eat, too, and one that did not include eggs.
So, here’s that sandwich:
Toast an English muffin. Bay’s is our brand, in part because I hate the ritual of having to fork-open the forkin’ motherforker Thomas’ English muffins version.
When toasted, you drizzle a little maple syrup on the inside of the one half.
Then: some manner of meat goes upon it. Bacon is great, but so are sausage patties — the Beyond Sausage patties are good, too, if you want something plant-based.
Upon that goes cheese.
The perfect cheese for this is Cooper Cheese, which is the greatest meltiest cheese known to man, and anybody who tells you different can get fucked. It is the best. It’s American cheese, and I feel you already buckling, but stop. I’ve ranted about this before, but get shut of any judgment you may have about American cheese and how it’s not really “cheese” and how it’s a “cheese product,” and STOW YOUR CHEESE CLASSISM, JUDGEY MCJUDGEYBUTT. Anyway, let J. Kenji Lopez-Alt tell you the truth about American cheese. I have also used a good sharp cheddar, but it does change the profile significantly, and cheddar doesn’t always melt as nice.
So, maple syrup, then meat, then cheese. Cheese on both halves, btw.
Toast again, just till the cheese melts.
Slap halves together, put into face, send me money to pay me for the delight I have given you.
If you like eggs, unlike my anarchist son, cook one to your liking and put it on before the “slap halves” stage of the sandwich construction.
Also, in the name, I understand this is not a proper British butty, so I have named it a Buddy so as not to falsely appropriate British cuisine. You should read that prior sentence as sarcastically as you like.
Cheesy Eggs And Rice
Our Chinese food place gives you a whole container of rice for every dish you order, and that usually means we end up with enough leftover rice to choke a bear. But I don’t want to choke a bear. I like bears. So, instead I try to use the rice in a variety of ways, chief among them is fried rice, which I just mistyped as “friend rice.” Which sounds nice until you realize it might be a Soylent Green thing? Whatever. But for breakfast, I do a different thing with the rice, and this is that different thing —
Skillet on medium-high heat. Toss in there the OIL OF YOUR CHOICE, which here I recommend either unrefined coconut oil (nice coconutty taste) or butter. Why butter? Because butter.
Then, take a bunch of rice and dump it in. How much? Jesus, I dunno. How do you measure rice? By the fistful? One FIST OF RICE. There. The goal of this is you want the rice to get cooked on the bottom but stay somewhat pillowy-ricey on top. Spread it out. Think: layer.
While that’s cooking, lay a slice or two — broken up — of melty cheese atop the rice. Again, I will recommend to you Cooper Cheese for this vital task.
Now, to the eggs.
I do this two ways, depending on my druthers. The fuck is a druther, anyway? It sounds like the last name of a nosy neighbor in an old sitcom. “Oh, no, here comes our landlord, Mister Druthers, again — careful, or he’s going to figure out that one of us roommates is actually a haunted mannequin!”
First way is, scramble the fuck out of it. Then, when you feel the rice is sufficiently ready, you use your spatula and get that eggy scramble into the rice. Give it a stir, keep stirring, don’t let it scramble too much, and then put it on a bowl.
But, I find the second way a bit more satisfying.
I make two nests — two egg craters, you might say — in the rice. Like a fish swooping out the riverbed to lay its future fishchildren. Then put in a little more fat in those culinary rice pockets, and crack an egg into each. Let it cook a bit, then flip each yolk. Once they firm up a little bit, so that they’re starting to get jammy (jammy is one of those food words that I find enticing when used appropriately, so like, with caramelized onions, or egg yolks, but not, say, tuna fish). Then break the jammy yolks, stir them into the rice, and serve.
The cheese should be melty. The rice will be both soft and chewy. The eggs will incorporate throughout, a kind of ricey-eggy-custardy pillow. I use a little sweet soy sauce (buy it separate or make your own with soy, mirin, bit of vinegar, bit of sugar, garlic, ginger). I sometimes use Penzey’s Fox Point or Shallot Pepper too to finish. You can do other stuff to dress this up, too: start with onion, garlic, ginger. Maybe add in a dash of sesame oil. Greens go well here, too, like spinach or bok choy. Shit, this would probably taste good speckled with lawn clippings and eaten out of an old shoebox.
Also to be clear, I’m quite certain there are Chinese or Korean breakfasts that are similar to this — I’m not attempting to appropriate or claim some kind of culinary genius. I just put things I like together and they taste good and hopefully they taste good to you, too.
Broken Yolk On Homemade Toast
This one’s easy. Even obvious. But it’s a favorite here. I make my own sourdough toast — er, I guess I actually make the bread because the toast part is always on us to make — so, okay, fine, I make BREAD, you pedants, and then I TOAST that bread.
Then I re-toast in order to melt some cheese on it. Cheese of choice.
Then, I fry two eggs, flip, and break open the yolks at the end, and yet the jammy (there’s that word again) yolks spread out like a blanket of goodness over the whites.
Onto the toast goes a bed of arugula.
Onto the arugula go the eggs.
Season accordingly (salt, pepper, and for me, more of that Penzey’s Fox Point). Then use a painter’s trowel to shovel it into your unhinged maw.
You can dress it up with avocado. Or a fried green tomato for that crunchy tartness. Or a little maple syrup under the cheese for a hit of sweetness. Or, or, or, sweet onion jam or some kinda savory chutney. I also like saying “chutney.” “Jammy Chutney.” That’s my spy name.
*kicks down door* JAMMY CHUTNEY, DOUBLE O CIFIBIA
I dunno. Fuck around with it and report back.
(Note, this image is kind of a combination of this and a breakfast sandwich.)
My current oatmeal is this apple-based oatmeal. The apples require a special shout-out, I think, because the topping I make is particularly good on all kinds of things — cook the apples in cinnamon and butter, then add orange juice, maple syrup, and reduce down till syrupy. No mushy apples for this. Get something that’ll hold up, but that has a natural tartness. GoldRush, Cox’s Orange Pippin, even a Cosmic Crisp.
Also, oatmeal is really good if you cook it in oatmilk.
I know, that sounds like too much oats. Insert Xzibit meme about putting oats in oats. But trust me, it’s just right. It’s a whole oat galaxy, an OATIVERSE, if you will. An OATPOCALYPSE. Good too if you throw some berries on there, some cacao nibs, some walnuts, a salamander egg, a cursed chicken toe, ash from a burned Bible page, and ha ha no this isn’t a evil spell it’s just a “recipe” it’s “fine” don’t “ask questions” you fucking heretic.
Waffles, Pancakes, And Eating Babies
This is the waffle recipe I use: Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness. Before now a lot of the waffle recipes I used required separating out the egg whites and whipping them before folding them in separately, but nobody has time for that nonsense. What am I, trapped in my house during a global pandemic? Sheesh. This recipe gets the same result but… doesn’t need that step, and so I use this with a Belgian wafflemaker. Note, it says “serves 2 to 4,” and that number for me is, “it serves 2.25” people, so if you have a quarter-human in your house, great. Otherwise, double the recipe.
This is the Dutch Baby recipe I use — it’s Alton Brown’s. It’s very good. I wish it and the waffle recipe above gave ingredients by weight (especially since his recipe here lists “digital scale” as useful equipment but gives you no weight measurements).
I don’t make pancakes, my wife does — I do 90% of the cooking, but she makes a few things I simply cannot manage to do well, like meatballs and pancakes. This is her recipe:
So, that’s 270g AP flour
1 TB + 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups milk (room temp)
2 eggs (room temp)
1/4 cup and 1 tsp butter, melted but cooled a little
Basic steps are: melt the butter, let it cool a little, mix dry goods together, marry eggs and milk together in wedded bliss, then make a throuple as you slowly pour and stir melted butter into egg-milk so as not to make scrambled eggs, then wet goes into dry, then onto cooking surface, flip when cooked on one side, eat eat eat. The crossed out stuff in the recipe is her old version — she’s been evolving this over a few years now. These are the best pancakes I have ever eaten, with the exception of maybe the pancake I had at the Mad Batter, in Cape May, NJ.
I don’t pour straight maple syrup on any of these, but rather, make a mix of melted butter and maple syrup whisked together right before pouring. It’s phenomenal.
(For maple syrup, I like Escuminiac, or Finding Home Farms.)
NOW GO FORTH AND BREAKFAST YOUR FACE