Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my favorite breakfast: eggs, home fries, and bacon

Growing up, I hated breakfast. Loved the foods, hated the time. Why would I wake up an extra 15 minutes early to eat, when I could be sleeping? Breakfast for dinner, forever!

Thankfully, a few years ago I came to my senses and started eating breakfast every morning. I alternate between oatmeal, yogurt, and omelettes (with the rare appearance of cereal) on weekday mornings. I still don't like being up early than necessary, so breakfast during the work week has to be fast. Spending 10 minutes on an omelette is pushing the limit, but they tend to keep me full straight through to lunch, so I'll overlook the sleeping time lost.

Weekends are a different story, though. I love spending extra time making an extra special breakfast. These meals typically take longer because they involve my favorite food of all time, potatoes. I'm one of those weird people who goes out to a diner (like say, IHOP) and never orders pancakes. Fried eggs sunny side up, rye toast, and well done hash browns please! I'll take any excuse to make potatoes at home (and I do - the Boyfriend and I have potatoes with/for dinner at least once a week, if not more).

The trick to good home fries is leaving them alone in the pan. This took me years to come to terms with, because I love playing with my food. I never got that crisp exterior I wanted, because I was constantly stirring whatever was in the pan! Now that I've learned my lesson though, I'm happy to report well-done home fries, every time.

For this breakfast, I used a little of the leftover bacon fat in both the potatoes and the eggs (hello, gluttony childhood memories at my grandparents' house). Usually I just use olive oil, though. But remember, this meal is special!

Simple Home Fries

6-8oz potato per person, diced
1 tablespoon oil, if you're using it
salt and pepper to taste

If you're making these on the stove, heat up your pan and oil. Add the potatoes only once the oil is hot enough (if you touch one piece of potato to the oil and you see bubbles, you know it's ready). Let them cook for at least five minutes before even thinking about touching them. Flip one to see if it's brown, and if it is then stir the potatoes around so they flip to a new side. They'll take about 20 minutes to cook thoroughly, and you'll know they're done when they're fork tender.

If you're making the potatoes in the oven (my cooking method of choice most days), preheat to 425*. Toss potatoes in oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for at least 15 minutes before turning the taters, then bake for 10-15 more, until they're as well-done as you want them.

Country Scrambled Eggs

1-2 eggs per person
1-2 teaspoons oil, if you're using it

Crack eggs into the pan before it's fully heated (you don't want to fry them on contact). When the whites begin to cook, slowly stir the eggs with a wooden spoon. The goal here is to have scrambled eggs where there's still separation between the yolks and whites; it really adds a level of creaminess to the eggs (I swear people always ask me what I add to the eggs and they don't believe me when I say "nothing"). I also love the flavor of the yolk, so bonus points for that. If I'm not eating my eggs fried, this is how I make them!

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