Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Breakfast Sandwich #107 - Mac 'n Cheese 'n Bacon 'n Red Onion 'n More Cheese 'n Chicken Egg

Sandwich: Homemade Mac 'n Cheese, Bacon, Red Onion, Extra Cheese
Date: 12/23/2017

The Sandwich Sciences don't take a break for Christmas weekend particularly when there is leftover mac 'n cheese in the fridge that you know needs to be tested in the lab.

And so I was back in the lab massaging flavors and taking notes even though the vast majority of you would prefer I go to Sally Jo's Pancake Emporium and review her Grit's 'n Griddle Grinder breakfast sandwich. If that restaurant and sandwich existed I too would be excited to eat and review it. Sadly, it does not.

Let's get right to this. I had leftover mac 'n cheese. I had eggs. I had bacon. I had English Muffins. I had to do it. There was no way not to to do it.
Just a bit askew but packed with jaunty flavors.

This is a lousy angle but you can see the layers and that little pool of yolk back there.
The Sandwich - You already know everything that is on this sandwich. The key was having leftover mac 'n cheese. (That isn't the recipe I used but it's close and you know Southern Living doesn't fuck around when it comes to things like mac 'n cheese.) For this batch I used provolone and a medium sharp cheddar but it wasn't particularly creamy so I added thin slices of sharp cheddar to the sandwich which also functioned to hold the onion slices in place. A slice of American cheese would have been perfect but it wasn't happening. I toasted the English Muffin with the mac 'n cheese on one half and red onion, bacon and the sharp cheddar on the other half. The chicken egg was puck-cooked (Is that a term? It is now.) with a Mason jar lid which is really the best way to have an egg on a English Muffin. I have to say this egg turned out perfect. The only thing left to mention is that I added a liberal dose of green Cholula hot sauce which mingles well with eggs and red onion.

The Result - I don't rate the products of the laboratory but this sandwich was a super tasty humdinger and it's probably worth your time to make some mac 'n cheese just so you can make one of these the next day. The pasta was a bonus texture and since the mac 'n cheese was somewhat mild the salty bacon and red onion didn't push it too far. I was glad I added the sharp cheddar just for a little extra bite and the green hot sauce was not too much either. This sandwich was a champ and if I had been served it in the restaurant it'd be a strong contender for best of the year. (I think? I'm just throwing that out there without looking back at the year. That will happen soon though.) I thought I might need a fork to get it all but it held together despite being used to mop up yolk and the few bits of macaroni that escaped were easily plucked up with fingers. If you do make one of these remember that it's not a low calorie breakfast so maybe wait for a day when you're going to have to go out and shovel some snow or tear down a barn or wrassle gators or something. You can't eat this and then just go do spreadsheet things.

This continues to not be a cooking blog, but you know what? There is a lot of Honeybaked Ham in my life right now and I still have some eggs so I'm going to have to find a fresh experiment that uses ham. Maybe a ham and baked beans sandwich? I will state this right here, right now - I will review one more sandwich from a local establishment before I do my end of year wrap up. It might be the McDonalds on Verona Road but I will have one more sandwich at a restaurant before we close out this year. I feel like I owe you people.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Breakfast Sandwich #106 - I'm Like A Lab Rat For Sandwiches

Sandwich: Summer Sausage, Medium Cheddar, Red Onion, Chicken Egg, Chipotle Cholula Sauce, English Muffin.
Date: 12/2/2017

I had no intention of going back into the lab so soon after the Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich Extravaganza of last week. Honestly, I didn't have any experimental sandwich combos gnawing away at my psyche that I needed to try. However, at some point during the late morning I was feeling a bit peckish and started poking pecking around in the fridge to see what I could gnaw on and the only viable option was a breakfast sandwich.

There were a few options for meat - summer sausage, hard salami and bacon. In the name of experimentation I dismissed the bacon. I had a quick taste test between the hard salami and the summer sausage and made my choice. You may recall that way back in December of 2015 (The Year of the Breakfast Sandwich TM) I had a delicious summer sausage sandwich at Graze. That's the last time I had a summer sausage breakfast sandwich as Graze appears to be the only place that offers one. It's that or you make your own, I guess. 

The rest of the sandwich ingredients were almost a given - the cheddar was my best cheese option and the English Muffin was a better choice than my bread. I only had egg of chicken as I have not secured an alternative egg source. 

The red onion was a bit of a curveball. Red onion really brings a lot to the party when you're constructing a sandwich. It blends well with many meats and cheeses and seems to pull more flavor out of it's sandwich neighbors. It has to be used sparingly though as it can take over and get a bit obnoxious. A few thinly sliced pieces are often all that is needed. You have to know your limits. I've probably said all of this before.

I've been using the Cholula Green Pepper sauce on eggs a lot lately but thought the smokiness of the Chipotle would compliment the sausage. (Narrators voice: It did). 
All the pieces fell into place.

OK, I went a bit long on the egg.
The Result - Well, hell, this sandwich was swell. It really was excellent and a pleasant change from the normal breakfast sandwich offerings. The onion, cheddar, chipotle hot sauce and sausage blended and danced together well. There were a couple of things that I could have improved on. The egg was cooked a bit too long but life comes at you fast in the frying pan and that's the way it goes sometimes. The English Muffin wasn't toasted as much as I would have liked as a result of putting the tray in the toaster oven to catch dripping cheese. It turns out the cheese didn't drip much and I would have been better off without the tray. Also, a little more cheese would have been ideal. Overall this was a winner and I recommend you make one for yourself, pronto.