Sunday, November 26, 2017

Breakfast Sandwich #105 - Research In The Leftovers Lab

About a week ago I realized I would soon have plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers and that I should fashion a breakfast sandwich out of them. I thought if I could get my hands on a turkey egg that would be the final piece to a perfect Thanksgiving leftover breakfast sandwich. It was a good thought, but I had no idea where to get a turkey egg. I did email a local organic farm that raises turkeys but they weren't interested in playing my game. They're probably a bunch of damn hippies anyway.

If I had started my quest for turkey egg earlier, and contacted more than one farm, I probably could have gotten my hands on one. I'm not sure it would have been worth the effort but it really would have been a nice touch on this sandwich.

The only bread I had in house was Bay's Muti-Grain English Muffins. (Did you know that Bay's claim that the original Egg McMuffin was served on a Bay's English Muffin?) No problem there, that is the perfect base for a breakfast sandwich although it does inform the rest of the decisions in constructing the sandwich. You can't overload an English Muffin and you have to plan for a more vertical sandwich as you have a limited footprint.

Other than the English Muffin, here is a list of what I was working with:

Turkey meat - both white and dark meat
Sausage and Walnut Dressing
Chicken Eggs
1 piece of American cheese

As much as I wanted to include mashed potatoes on this sandwich I had eaten them all the night before. It would have been too much for the English Muffin anyway. I eliminated the cranberries figuring things would get too sloppy. I had other cheeses but had already decided to use the last piece of American cheese.

I prefer dark meat but went with the white meat for this sandwich simply because I could take one slice that was a little larger than the muffin and it would be solid for construction. I took that and a scoop of dressing and wrapped them in foil to heat in the toaster oven. When they were hot pulled them out of the toaster and "buttered" the muffin halves with gravy, and popped them into the toaster. While those toasted I cooked the chicken egg in a Mason jar lid so I'd have a nice egg puck to match the shape of the English Muffin. A turkey egg probably would have been too large for a jar lid but I would have found a way to make it work and I haven't come to peace with the idea that I should have gotten a turkey egg and I'll probably stew on it for a whole year but NEXT YEAR I will start inquiring earlier.

Construction - Thick muffin side for the base, turkey, dressing, slice of American cheese, egg, muffin top.
Fear not! The cheese melted more, this was taken immediately after construction.

Slicing the sandwich was a little rough but you can see that the cheese melted and the egg was perfectly runny. At this point I realized that leaving the cranberries off was a good choice. It would have been too messy. 
The Result - This was so tasty I wanted to punch a Pilgrim in the face. I don't rate my Lab Research Sandwiches but this was fantastic and you should make one right now if you still have leftovers. I'd like to try one with mashed potatoes but that will have to wait. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

(Not Really A) Breakfast Sandwich #104 - Stella Blu Cafe aka You Look Sexy In That Wrap Around Porch

Sandwich: Spicy Italian Sausage Panini
Location: Stella Blu Cafe
Date: November 18, 2017
Cost: $12.50 includes brunch potatoes, two eggs and mixed greens

I was predisposed to like the Stella Blu Cafe. First, it's in this funky little flat-roofed building with a wrap around porch that's tucked into a residential area. I've had my eye on this building for many years, it's the kind of building I would buy if I were the kind of guy who bought buildings. I'll admit it, I have had a crush on this building for about two decades. Second, I don't know where they got their name but I assume it's from the Grateful Dead song, which coincidentally is a favorite of mine. As it happened, when I walked into the cafe they were playing Grateful Dead in the open kitchen area so I guess that kind of confirms my suspicion on the name. The Dead transitioned into Lou Reed after a few songs but I was OK with that choice as well.

None of that has anything to do with sandwiches.

The brunch menu offers four panini sandwiches and when I first looked at the menu online I knew I would get the sausage version:

Spicy Italian Sausage, peperonata, provolone, pesto, garlic aioli

A bountiful array of flavor.
The Sandwich - The menu offers adding two eggs any style for $2.50. I wrongly assumed they meant that they add them to the sandwich. No, they put them on the side. In retrospect it makes sense - putting eggs onto the panini might get kind of sloppy with egg spilling out all over the place. Ultimately this wasn't really a breakfast sandwich but here we are so let's talk about it anyway. The house made focaccia was fantastic and grilled up perfectly with a crusty outside and buttery inside. The sausage link was spicy, but not overly so, and blended wonderfully with the grilled peppers. Provolone is a good cheese for this sandwich, mild, and not too messy when it melts. The pesto is what really brings this sandwich together. It compliments everything and adds a touch of zip. The chicken eggs were cooked over medium so they still had a runny yolk but they were not on the sandwich. I briefly considered trying to put them on the sandwich but I figured that would turn into an absolute mess. A brief mention of the other sides - often you are given the choice of greens or potatoes but having both was a nice option. Fresh greens with a tangy dressing and crispy potatoes should be paired up more often.

The Result - 4.61 Secret Building Crushes out of 5 Secret Building Crushes. The sandwich was fantastic but I'm really rating the entire plate here and I swear I'm not adding points for the building. But seriously, this was a fantastic meal and carried me through until dinner later that night. It literally became breakfast and lunch which I guess it's why they call it brunch. Go take a look at that building and tell me if it isn't just the cutest thing.

Facebook page