At least once a weekend, I find myself making breakfast sandwiches. The beauty is, you can make them with whatever you have on hand and tailor them to your tastes—bread, cheese, meat, condiments, extras—you choose. It’s not a meal that has to be planned in advance. Moreover, you can make as many as you’d like with little extra effort.
Personally, I like my vehicle to be either bagels or English muffins. Biscuits are good, too, but I find them to be a bit too crumbly. When cooking the eggs, I either fry them or scramble them and let them cook in a solid mass (frittata style), then cut the mass into large pieces and flip them over to complete the cooking process. For meat, I prefer using either bacon or ham, but I’m not aversed to using sausage patties. My top cheese selections are American or cheddar—in this case, American gets the nod due to its glorious melting capacity and mild flavor. Finally, what gives this recipe a real kick is my favorite breakfast sandwich sauce—a mix of one part maple syrup and one part hot sauce. It gives the sandwiches both sweet and spicy notes, which make them irresistible.
This is my basic breakfast sandwich.
8 slices of bacon or 4 slices of Virginia ham
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 extra large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices of American cheese
4 bagels, sliced horizontally
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp hot sauce, such as Frank’s Original
1. Cook the bacon: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup). Place 8 strips of bacon flat on the baking sheet. Cook the bacon in the oven until it’s browned and crisp, about 15-20 minutes. If you plan to use ham, skip this step.
2. Make the sauce: While the bacon cooks, mix together the maple syrup and hot sauce.
3. Place the bagels cut-side up on a baking sheet.
4. Once the bacon is cooked and removed from the oven, jack the heat up to broil. Remove the bacon from the baking sheet onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess fat.
5. Fry the eggs: Place the butter in a large skillet and melt it over medium heat. Swirl the melted butter around the skillet to coat the surface. Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Slowly pour each egg, one at a time, into the skillet. Once all the eggs are in the pan, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, to taste. Once the egg whites turn white, after about 2 minutes cooking time, gently flip them over using a spatula. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the whites are set but the yoke is still runny.
6. Toast the bagels: After you flip the eggs, place the bagels in the oven for 30 seconds to toast. Remove them immediately, as you don’t want them to burn. You could also do this step in a toaster, which is what I do if I’m only making one or two sandwiches at a time.
7. Assemble the sandwiches: Place the bacon (2 pieces per sandwich—you may want to break them in half to fit) or ham (1 slice per sandwich) on the bottom half of each bagel. Top the chosen meat with a fried egg (1 per sandwich). Drizzle the maple-hot sauce, to taste, over the eggs. Drape 1 slice of cheese over each egg, then place the top halves of each bagel to complete the sandwiches. Serve immediately.