- Test Kitchen Talks
- Season 1
- Episode 11
6 Pro Chefs Make Their Go-To Breakfast Sandwich
Released on 12/03/2021
Today, we're in the test kitchen.
And we're gonna be making our go-to breakfast sandwiches.
So a great breakfast sandwich, in my opinion.
Must have an egg. This is good.
I don't think it's gotta have an egg.
Some toasty bread situation.
It has to have a protein. Bacon, sausage.
It should have some cheese.
Little carb, a little savory, a little meat.
[hands clap] [up-tempo percussive music]
What is a breakfast sandwich?
I don't know that it lends itself to easy definitions.
So today I'm making a classic sausage, egg,
and cheese, staple of delis around New York.
In almost any deli, there's gonna be a little mini flat top
with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage.
We've got this nifty meat press.
It's maybe a little too much,
but I want like an even, thin layer.
I'm trying to create a lot of surface area
so it has the best possible chance of getting crispy.
Try to go maybe even flatter with this one.
I'm just trying to toast the bun, so butter happening.
So we'll do a couple eggs.
Ooh! Still got it! Still got it!
An absurdly large whisk. So it's not about movement.
When you touch it, you're gonna start to form curds,
and you want like a sheet of scrambled egg.
That's what we're talking about,
and it's like quad-fold situation.
The ideal cheese is an American style cheese,
something that's just begging to melt.
So we got some color.
Going flatter, harder definitely paid off.
It's like egg stack, and then right onto the bread.
Sausage sitting in a pool of cheese,
sitting on a stack of egg, nothing is going anywhere.
You can eat this with one hand while drinking coffee.
The cheese is adding so much richness, so much creaminess.
Honestly, I'm thrilled with this.
This is like Tom Hanks, making [beep] fire in Castaway,
like that level of happiness.
[up-tempo jazzy music]
I am making a Indian-style
masala omelet breakfast sandwich.
Back in India, you have stalls
that are dedicated to egg dishes,
from boiled to fried to different versions
of this masala omelet.
When I was thinking of this recipe,
I knew I like had to pay a little bit of an ode to them.
So I'm gonna start by cracking.
Okay, let me see if I can do it with one. I did it.
Then some chopped red onion, cilantro, cumin seeds,
red chili flakes, and then some green chili and salt.
I do love like punchy,
intense [laughs] things first thing in the morning.
I know that's not everyone's vibe.
You wanna make sure that the eggs completely break.
You incorporate a little air.
That's gonna make your omelet fluffy.
My heart is always on Indian-style masala omelets.
That's gonna be color on this,
and some of the edges might get crispy,
but that's the best part.
Okay, so that looks great.
We're gonna go over and cook this. I have some ghee here.
You could use butter. I just love the flavor of ghee.
I feel like it's a little bit sweeter, more toasty.
As you can see, the edges start to fluff up a little bit.
Fold the omelet towards the center.
That way, all of the uncooked part goes under.
You make sure that that's getting cooked as well.
And once most of the omelet is cooked,
I'm gonna add my cheese.
And you could certainly flip this,
but I'm just gonna cover it and let the cheese melt.
All right, I think that's good.
Fold one side over the other like that.
The color that you get on the bottom is good.
I think this is ready to plate.
Okay, so I have some toasted ciabatta bread.
I like using ciabatta just because it gets like nice
and crunchy but still soft in the center,
and I don't think you need like a super spicy hot sauce
here just because you are adding two kinds of chilies.
And I'm gonna put a mound of arugula
that's gonna add some crunch and freshness and pepperiness.
You get all of the flavor without overpowering the egg.
Wakes you up.
The ciabatta is good bread that can really hold on its own.
You don't really miss the meat.
This is the perfect breakfast sandwich.
[up-tempo jazzy music]
I'm not a big egg on my breakfast sandwich kind of guy.
I know, what a weirdo.
Gonna be making Taylor ham, lettuce,
and tomato on a toasted bagel,
little mayonnaise and mustard mixture, salt, pepper.
It's perfect. We've got the Taylor ham.
So it's this thing that was invented in Trenton, New Jersey.
It's tangy. It's got a little sweetness to it.
This is the pro move, all right?
They don't teach you this out west.
You gotta cut little slips in it like that.
You want even browning. Yeah, buddy.
[laughs] Flashbacks are coming to me now.
All right, to the cast iron.
Taylor ham, similar to a bologna, right?
It's an emulsified pork product.
Crisp, it gets nice and brown. It's beautiful.
It's almost like a little Spammy kind of bacon riff.
See, if we didn't do those little cuts,
it would cup up like that,
and the whole inside was just steam.
It wouldn't get a nice crispness to it.
No better way to start your day
than some greasy, porky pork roll, baby.
This is what we're looking for. Look at that.
All right. Crispy fried up pork Taylor ham, pork roll, baby.
Thank you, New Jersey.
It is almost like a little bacony kind of thing, right?
Crispy, porky, salty, but it's tangy.
The secret. Oh, it's tangy, and then iceberg, right?
You know what? I'm gonna do a little slice of tomato, too.
Ooh, that felt good.
So we've got our toasted bagel, okay?
I'm just gonna add a little bit of mayonnaise.
Yeah, a little Dijon.
Dijon mayo mix? Come on.
That's our little secret sauce for the breakfast, right?
I really like that.
It's gonna be a little riff on a BLT.
Taylor ham. A little TLT. Taylor ham, lettuce, and tomato.
Yeah, yeah! You nailed it, Brad.
So we're gonna put that down.
Now add our tomato, and then with tomato,
I know there's salt on there,
but I always add a little bit of salt to my tomato.
All right. Just that little extra.
Come on, look at that sandwich.
Little black pepper.
I should have put it on the tomato, but it's okay.
It's all going on the same spot.
Yeah. Look at that bad boy, huh? [whistles]
I'll tell you what.
Every now and then, Brad, looks pretty good!
If you wanna throw an egg on there, knock yourself out.
I really dig this.
It's almost, I'm gonna go ahead and say it, not better,
but it's as freaking good as a bacon BLT, maybe even better.
Have it for breakfast.
Taylor ham, tomato and lettuce for breakfast.
[up-tempo jazzy music]
A breakfast sandwich,
I feel like it might need an egg to be proper.
However, that doesn't mean there are not other options.
That's why we're gonna be working
with a tofu scramble, okay?
So tofu's very bland by itself,
but it could be really tasty and very flavorful
when you add in some veggies and some strong spices.
So I've got some red onion, green pepper,
red pepper, and some garlic.
I'm going to crumble in my pressed tofu just with my hands.
Typically I'd like to wrap it
in a couple layers of paper towel
and then rest a heavy cast iron on top
to drain out all of that excess liquid.
So now I'm just gonna get some nutritional yeast
onto that tofu for some umami.
The turmeric, that's gonna give this eggy color.
Some of that smoked paprika and our red pepper flakes.
I'm not looking to recreate eggs here.
I'm just looking to have a protein-packed sandwich.
It needs a savory element.
Shiitake mushrooms are so versatile,
and they are among some of the most flavorful mushrooms,
in my opinion.
I'm using some brown sugar to create some caramelization,
and you'll wanna mix that brown sugar quickly
so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Bit of liquid smoke,
which is one of my favorite ingredients.
This is browning liquid.
It's something that's used in Jamaican cooking often,
and it's honestly just to give some color,
like a nice, rich color to the dish
and all it is is burnt sugar.
And then we've got some smoked paprika,
just to play on that smokiness a little bit more,
and a little bit of salt.
And you're getting these deep rich burnt bits here,
which is exactly what we're looking for.
Last thing we're gonna do
is create our aquafaba sriracha mayo.
That water that is created
after cooking down chickpeas becomes somewhat
of an egg white replacer.
And I've got an immersion blender here,
and all that I'm doing is, on turbo speed,
we're gonna go ahead and whip that up,
just like we would egg whites.
[immersion blender whirs]
We're gonna add some salt, some sugar,
and some mustard powder.
And then what we're gonna do, this is magic.
This is gonna emulsify and become mayo.
What we're gonna do a slowly add oil.
[immersion blender whirs]
The more oil you add,
the thicker your quote unquote mayo will become.
Last but not least,
I'm just gonna incorporate some sriracha for heat.
Look at that. It is like thick.
She thick. [laughs]
I like the English muffins because it's not too much bread,
and you can still really fill it up.
Get those nice, jammy, smokey shiitakes layered right
on that sandwich.
And then we're gonna get a couple
of those arugula greens on there.
Mm. I like it a lot for so many reasons.
The tofu scramble is like savory
and has all these different spices.
You can taste the smoke paprika. You can taste the turmeric.
The onions and the peppers really play well together.
When you move up to the shiitake bacon,
it's crispy and really flavorful, very umami.
Final verdict the messier the sandwich, the tastier.
My go-to breakfast sandwich is actually inspired
by one of my cooks at my restaurant.
A couple of months ago, I asked Kyle to show me
how to make Japanese sandwiches.
They're made with milk bread,
and so they're really like fluffy, really sweet.
My spin on it is just throwing some Spam on there.
Usually when I've made egg salads in the past,
I will cut up my eggs
and then just mash everything together.
This technique, actually, you separate the yolks,
and you make a cream out of the yolks.
Gonna cut these into bite-sized pieces.
We're gonna add some Kewpie mayo.
It's a Japanese mayo. It's made just with yolks.
It's creamier. It's sweeter.
I'm gonna have a hint of mustard.
It's like if you were to make deviled eggs
but like in a sandwich form.
Sometimes when you eat eggs,
you only get a bite of the yolk.
Then you're stuck with all the whites.
But this way, you get a little bit of both.
I'm gonna add a tiny bit of salt,
and then you can add scallions or chives.
It adds a nice pop of green in there.
My favorite part of the sandwich is the Spam.
The Spam is like a great like salty,
savory component to this.
I know it seems really scary,
but don't be afraid of [laughs] it.
I grew up eating spam for breakfast in my Filipino home.
It was one of those things that you would wake up from bed
and just like smell the distinct smell of frying Spam.
Spam bacon. Let's go!
I like the texture of Spam when it's thin
because it gets really crispy,
like comes out almost like a chip.
It's got a nice caramelization.
It's got a little bit of color on the sides,
and I think we're ready to go.
And the last piece that is really important
is your milk bread.
This is called Shokupan.
Traditionally, Japanese sandos use this
for their egg salad or their katsu sandwiches.
So it's like milky, buttery, similar to white bread.
It's very fluffy, but it also has a lot of hold to it
whereas I think with white bread, it's like collapsible.
Egg salad on both sides.
I'm gonna take the Spam and I'm gonna just layer it here.
I'm gonna put my egg in here like this.
When you have Japanese sandos or if you see them
at the store, they're usually without the crusts.
I also don't like crusts,
so this is the perfect to go breakfast sandwich for me.
And then you're gonna see how amazing [laughs] that looks.
Mm. The creaminess of the yolk is in there.
The texture of the egg whites holds up.
Gosh, the bread is just so, so fluffy,
and then the saltiness of the Spam,
like the savoriness comes through.
And because there's a little bit more texture,
it definitely feels like if you had a bacon
and an egg sandwich.
[up-tempo jazzy music] [moans]
This is my ideal because I want herby,
bright herbaceousness, and I also want cheese,
and I also want egg, and I also want a fluffy roll.
A frittata is inherently a clean out the fridge dish.
It's a really good way to make use
of miscellaneous bits and bobs.
It's also really neat.
So you won't end up with drippy yoke bits all
over your shirt.
So we're gonna do some sour cream,
and that just adds some like extra richness and fat
and then dill, my favorite, plus some parsley
plus some scallion for a little allium bite,
and we have our goat cheese.
And the reason I'm not whisking is
'cause I don't wanna break these up very much
'cause I want those pockets of cheese when you bite into it,
which I think is really nice,
and we're gonna put our mixture into our prepared pan.
So you can see this is a very green, very herby frittata.
We're gonna throw this into the oven
at 350 for about half an hour.
When we lift it out of here, you'll see, nice and puffy.
The egg's really lifted.
We toasted our buns and buttered them,
and then I'm just gonna rub it
with the flat side of a garlic clove.
It gives you the vibes of the garlic
without that too punchy of a bite
if you don't want that first thing in the morning.
So nice, and like look into that cut.
Just like very fluffy.
The herbs like come to the top, which is nice, too.
And we're just gonna load that up.
I think hot sauce is a perfect condiment,
and it goes so well with the richness of eggs
that I want it on my breakfast sandwich.
Look! That's so fun.
We've got a lot going on here.
I like your sandwich to have some height,
and the fluffiness of this button means that you
can press it down and get it all
into your mouth in one bite.
A bacon, egg, and cheese can sometimes feel heavy duty,
but you still get that creamy cheese, bright herbiness,
the spicy hot sauce, and the tomato really killing it.
I'm gonna eat the whole thing.
I used to work at delis and stuff when I was younger,
and they come in these logs like this,
and they're stuffed in a casing.
So you would peel back the casing,
and you're left with this big,
this round [beep] giant, looks like a giant salami, right?
And you would take the knife,
and you would cut the slits in the whole log,
and then you put it on the deli slicer.
Pa, pa, pa, pa, pa, pa,
and do two of 'em, three of 'em.
We just burned through 'em.
Everyone, Taylor bacon and cheese!
Taylor bacon and cheese! Everyone orders that [beep].
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