Most mornings my breakfast consists of multi-grain cereal, skim milk, and some fruit if I’m feeling like going above and beyond. But some mornings call for a little extra, a breakfast that will provide more of a punch. The other day, after a morning hike, my mom and I needed a punch-filled breakfast. We whipped up this simple, but exciting (for us) breakfast using a bagel, eggs, some herbs, a handful of cheese, and a few grape tomatoes.
After spending the last four years of my life in university housing, I have had my fair share of bagel- and/or egg-based meals. I’ve gotten pretty good at making them seem like acceptable every day, all the time meal choices, adding a little of this or that to switch it up each time. Here are a few tips for a (seemingly) fancy bagel breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or midnight snack):
Let’s talk about the bagel.
I use good old Lender’s Refrigerated Plain Bagels most of the time, but I enjoy an Everything Bagel occasionally. Lender’s Refrigerated Bagels are just the right size for me; I usually have one half of a bagel if I’m adding eggs to it. I like mine toasted, not just heated. Sliced in half and popped in the toaster until golden brown is perfect for me.
Incredible, edible eggs!
Everyone makes their scrambled eggs differently and I’m sure they’re all great, but my Mimi let me in on her trick for fluffy, flavorful scrambled eggs that might put yours to shame. Beat the eggs together in a bowl, add about a tablespoon of water per egg to the mixture, and beat again until they begin to froth a little. My grandma then throws in a bit of salt (but no pepper!) — a teaspoon or two, maybe? (This is another one of those grandmother-kitchen-taste-adjustment things that I haven’t yet perfected.) Then the hot sauce! Shake some hot sauce (Your favorite will work well, but Crystal is a favorite of mine for eggs, specifically.) into the eggs. The surface of the egg mixture should be polka-dotted with the hot sauce. Beat the hot sauce and salt thoroughly into the egg mixture. Then pour the eggs into a frying pan that’s been heating over medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Keep the heat low, and cook the eggs slowly. Before stirring the eggs around in the pan, let them sit until small air bubbles begin to form beneath the surface. Then, stir the eggs occasionally. Don’t cook the eggs until they look dry in the pan — Alton Brown has said before that if the eggs look done in the pan, they’ll be overdone on the plate. I like to pull mine out of the pan while they’re still glistening, just past being runny.
* I often throw some cheese into my scrambled eggs because everything is better with cheese. But I don’t beat the cheese into the egg mixture. Instead, sprinkle the cheese onto the top of the eggs after pouring them into the pan. That way, the cheese will melt and cook together with the eggs.
Speaking of cheese …
When I’m building a breakfast sandwich-type thing, I like to use melted cheese as the (yummy) glue that keeps it all together. For this breakfast, I piled about 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (you could use any kind of cheese in any form you prefer) on top of the newly toasted and still warm bagel. Add the newly scrambled eggs to the pile, and add a little sprinkle of cheese on top. Microwave for just long enough to melt the cheese a little more, but not so much that the pile starts sliding around. And boom! Masterpiece! (For this breakfast, my mom and I sprinkled a mixture of green onions and parsley on top.)
Bonus! Teeny tomatoes.
I’m not the biggest fan of eating cooked tomatoes, but I enjoy sautéing grape or cherry tomatoes because they pop in the pan! Heat a pan to medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and about a clove of minced garlic. Add a handful of grape or cherry tomatoes to the pan and stir occasionally until the tomatoes begin to pop. Remove from the pan, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar, and enjoy with the bagel-egg tower of yummy!