Monday, October 15, 2012

Bacon, Egg & Kale Breakfast Sandwich

Eggs are arguably the world's most versatile ingredient and also one of the most difficult to master. Almost anyone can make edible scrambled eggs, but flawless scrambled eggs? Not so much. The key is to cook them slowly over low heat to keep them soft. It takes finesse to produce the creamy texture that is the hallmark of perfect scrambled eggs. And that's just one preparation.

Hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, sunny-side up, omelet, frittata, each preparation has its own method and techniques to be perfected. So I've made it my goal to become master of the egg one preparation at a time, an egg jedi, if you will. First up...the fried egg.

As far as eggs go, the fried egg is easy peasy, and once you master the technique, you'll find it hard to believe you ever did it any other way. The method outlined in this post makes what is called an olive oil fried egg or a Spanish-style fried egg. It involves cooking the egg in very hot olive oil, which produces crispy crunchy whites that are slightly-browned around the edges and a yolk that is set, but delicious and runny once you cut through the middle.

These crispy whites will melt right in your mouth

The fried egg is perfectly suited to serving on toast, but I decided to take it one step further and put it on a delicious breakfast sandwich. With whole wheat, turkey bacon, tomato and a ton of kale, not only is this sandwich super tasty, it's also super nutritious. I've been eating it for lunch for about a week straight now, and I've found it's filling enough for any meal of the day.

One egg dish down, only about fifty more to go...

Bon appetit!

Bacon, Egg & Kale Breakfast Sandwich
Serves 1
1 slice peppered turkey bacon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dino kale, roughly chopped* (also know as Tuscan kale or lacinato kale)
1/4 tsp white wine vinegar
Olive oil
1 large egg
1 tomato of your choice
English muffin or roll of your choice
Butter or Dijon mustard (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)

*To prepare the kale, wash and pat dry, then run a sharp knife along both sides of the center rib to remove. Once this is done, I like to stack my leaves on top of one another and slice along the diagonal to create 1/2-inch thick ribbons; however, any method of rough chopping will do.

Cook turkey bacon to your liking in a small cast iron skillet. Once cooked, set aside on a paper towel.

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in the same skillet and and cook garlic and kale over medium high heat until kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Kale will approximately halve in volume. If the pan is getting too dry while cooking, add water as needed (you will probably need between 1 to 2 tbsp). While the kale is cooking toast your English muffin or roll and cover one side with the spread of your choice as well as some hot sauce (I love love love Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce), I think Dijon mustard makes the best sandwich, but butter is great too. When the kale is done, sprinkle with vinegar and add salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

This is how your kale should look after cooking

Next fry the egg. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Crack your egg into a mug or ramekin. Heat the oil over high heat until just smoking. Carefully transfer the egg from the container to the pan, making sure not to splash hot oil all over the place. Immediately turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for no longer than one minute and 30 seconds (I like to set a timer), occasionally tilting the pan and spooning some of the hot oil over the whites of the egg that appear less cooked. The whites should be brown and crispy around the edges by the time you're done. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and add salt and pepper. Below is a great video tutorial from Big Girls Small Kitchen on this method.

Assemble your sandwich by placing a thick slice of tomato on the bottom of your English muffin or roll, next add the bacon (sliced into two pieces), then the kale mixture, and finally the fried egg. Top with the other side of your bread and dig in!

Source: adapted from The Kitchn

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