it's friday: dreaming of weekend breakfast

There's nothing better on a Saturday morning than a gooey, cheesy breakfast sandwich. Fresh, crunchy bread or biscuit, topped with a perfectly cooked egg and some colorful, tasty condiments is the way to go. Over the past several weekends at home, I have been experimenting with different combinations of flavors and styles of egg - with no major complaints from my husband, the willing taste-tester!

First, let's start with the bread base. You can use so many different bread vehicles for eggs: a slice of toast, a croissant sliced in half, a biscuit or a scone. The bread should be fresh, with a bit of crunch to contrast with the cooked egg and cheese, and preferably not so thick that the ratio of bread to sandwich stuffing is overwhelming in the mouth. You can experiment with any variety of my savory biscuit recipes, or head to your local bakery or grocery store for a fresh loaf of ciabatta or sourdough to have on hand for slicing.

Second, the egg, There are many ways to cook an egg, and I'm sure everyone has their own personal preference. Growing up, my father only ate fried eggs. And they had to be perfectly runny in the middle - not too over done, just so and over easy. He even gave my mother (an excellent home cook) a hard time if she tried to cook his eggs and bacon for him. Now that I have practiced the six-minute boiled egg for a few ramen noodle soup recipes, I have started to lean towards this preparation for breakfast sandwiches. If you bring water to a rapid simmer, drop in an egg or two for exactly six minutes, and then remove and de-shell under cold water, you will have a perfectly runny egg that you can cut in half and enjoy over your sandwich. However, if you let the egg boil for just an extra minute or 90 seconds, you can get a more custard-like yolk consistency which some may prefer. I also may whisk together a couple eggs with heavy cream, fresh herbs, some grated cheese, salt and pepper; you can bake this in an oven-safe, greased ramekin at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until the eggs are puffed. You can remove the baked eggs and serve on top of bread as well. No yolk to crack here but a nice, fluffy consistency that is still delicious.

Third, the condiments. Many things go well with egg and fresh bread but in my mind, the ultimate partner is smoked salmon. Bright pink in color, salty and savory, it's a classic pairing with eggs. I also enjoy a variety of cheeses and fresh herbs with eggs, and I can never say no to a good hot sauce. We often top our sandwiches with a green chili or smokey ancho chili sauce, depending on our mood. We have several bottles on hand at home.

So since it's Friday afternoon, I thought why not start to dream of breakfast ideas for tomorrow morning. Hope you are inspired to whip up something delicious in the morning just like I am!