Easy “Gourmet” Breakfast Sandwiches
Breakfast is one of three meals that I struggle with on a daily basis. I am never awake enough to be creative, and I never get up early enough to make something interesting and complex. Usually we have cereal, or bagels or English muffins with some variation in butter or cream cheese. On the exciting mornings, I might use jam as well. In cold weather I sometimes make grits.
Breakfast excitement usually comes on weekends, when Calin cooks for me. Then we usually have more time, and we get up later so we’re awake enough to have something nicer. He makes me the most delicious little breakfast sandwiches with egg and turkey bacon and cheese… But this weekend, something terrible happened. On Sunday morning, we did not have any eggs! The horror! And without eggs, what is the point of making bacon for egg and bacon and cheese sandwiches?!? It was this situation that lead to my epiphany: We had English muffins. We had cheese. And we had lunch meat! I can make something with this!
Because we almost always have English muffins, or bagels, which would work just as well. (I buy them in bulk whenever they go on sale and freeze them). And we always have cheese. (The day we run out of cheese will be the day I give up on life. Or run screaming to the grocery store.) And we generally have lunch meat because that’s part of my lazy way of dealing with the second meal that I struggle with on a daily basis.
Here’s the best part: when you put these incredibly simple, always-on-hand ingredients together, you end up with something that looks almost gourmet. It looks classy! You have these adorable little open-face sandwiches that look like they cost $8 at the local brunch restaurant. Especially since I’ve actually had gourmet cheese on hand, left over from Birthday Mac & Cheese. And I can make these every morning, in about 3 minutes – give or take how long I decide to leave them in the toaster oven on broil, which is in constant flux based on the ratio of hungry to want-the-cheese-as-crispy-and-bubbly-as-possible.
Easy Breakfast Sandwiches
- two English muffins – I’ve been using Thomas’s cinnamon raisin
- four slices of lunch meat – I use Hillshire Farms honey ham, ultra thin, low sodium
- approx. 8 slices of cheese – I’ve been using gruyere and Cabot cheddar, four slices of each, sliced from the end so the slices are thin
- Open both English muffins and toast them lightly, just enough to get them slightly crisp, but not brown.
- Fold each slice of lunch meat loosely in half and place it on one English muffin half. This is an approximate science, but it should be roughly centered on the muffin – any part that hangs off will just provide a slide for the cheese to drip off when you get to that part.
- Lay the cheese on top of the meat on each half. The way my cheese is sliced, this is two pieces per half – sometimes I lay them side by side; sometimes I lay one down the middle, break the other in half and lay those on each side of the center piece so that it makes a little plus sign. If you’re being diligent about your cheese, break off any corners that hang over the edge and put those pieces on top of the muffin – or just eat them. There is no sense in wasting cheese.
- Put all four muffins in the toaster oven on broil. Go away for a little while. Come back and see if the cheese is melting and bubbling like crazy. If it’s not, go away again. If it is, and the top looks a bit crispy and brown, take them out of the toaster.
- Wait at least a minute before you eat these. You can take this time to appreciate how attractive and gourmet the little guys are. If you don’t take a minute, you will burn your tongue on the edible napalm you have just created.
- Arrange them on two small plates to show off how cute they are. Then eat them. Try not to drip cheese down your chin and fingers. (It might be smart to get napkins BEFORE you put these on plates.)