I can do fancier breakfasts than this — sauces, French Toast, pancakes, crepes, quiches — you name it, I can do it, but this is easy, rich, delicious, and perfect for a lazy rainy weekend morning like I’m having today. If I really want to lay down the knock-out punch, I could throw in hash browns, but they’re just too rich for me in my old age. I’d rather use a little extra butter in this. ;)
The trouble I find most people face when making breakfast is that they don’t know how to time it properly. I dislike nothing more than a time-bungled breakfast.
So… The times are approximate. You always have about 2 minutes grace period… EXCEPT when it comes to eggs. You wanna get them done on time. But, seriously, it’s all just a matter of planning ahead and knowing how long certain things take to do. All meals are the same that way. Plan ahead. Finish at the same time.
Steff’s Caramelized Shallots, Asparagus, & Red Pepper Scrambled Eggs, Honey-Glazed Sausages, and Toast for Two
20 minutes before you want to eat, finely chop 2 shallots and one red pepper. Remove woody end of 3 stalks of thinnish asparagus, then julienne into 1″ long pieces. If, however, you want to use leftover asparagus, just keep that on the counter until the 5 minute mark.Preheat your boiler on max with a rack 4-5″ beneath it.
18 minutes: Melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add chopped shallot. Saute two minutes. Get your bread out for making toast later.
16 minutes: Add asparagus & red pepper to saute pan. Continue sauteeing for the next 12-15 minutes over medium heat, and when they’re turning golden brown, reduce to medium-low. Stir often. Do not add salt! Not until you’re about to add eggs. Salt extracts juice and they’ll burn quickly.
13 minutes: Butterfly four sausages. Now, if you’re motivated, you can do this part an hour in advance. What happens if you do is, the honey soaks down into the sausages and they plump up with sweetness yet still form a nice glazed crust, but a more even-toned one. Still, doing it right before cooking gives you a thicker, gooier, more candied glaze on the sausages. So, they’re butterflied. Drizzle a tablespoon or so of honey over top of each split sausage (arrange split-side up).
A word about sausages. I don’t like your standard breakfast sausage. I go to my specialty butchers and I tend to buy either chicken-apple or turkey-duck-cranberry. Sometimes honey-garlic or honey-bratwurst. Any which way, you want a larger chub of sausage and you want a savoury-sweet one.
11 minutes: Stick your sausages under the broiler.
10 minutes: Get the coffee going.
8 minutes: This is when I have to get my toast going — the object is to get the toast completely toasted with 2 minutes to spare for buttering, while the eggs are cooking. You know your toaster’s timetable, so figure it out. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re using a bread that’s new to you, it may or may not take longer to toast, so you want to keep an eye on it. I used new bread today and nearly burnt it. God forbid. Breads I love for this: Sourdough light rye, baguette, Ancient grain, 12-grain, Squirrelly (an awesome dark sesame bread here in W. Canada), rye, and more. Changing up the bread changes everything!
7 minutes: If the sausages have browned on top, it’s time to flip them. Then you want to cook them till the skin chars a bit on the other side — 4-6 minutes. Take them out when the skins have charred.
6 minutes: Get cracking. Break 5 eggs into a large bowl. Hand-whisk the eggs for a full minute. (Gets more air in there; fluffier eggs.)
At this point, the times start being a little irrelevant. Follow the signs, get shit ready as is required by doneness. If possible, if you’re getting ahead of yourself and are finishing before the deadline, have a couple large bowls out to cover your plates with so you can keep hot things hot.
5 minutes: Turn the veggies’ heat up to medium/medium-high. Add a tablespoon of butter. If you’re using leftover asparagus, you want to now throw it into the pan with the caramelized shallots & red pepper. This is optional. If you have it, some fresh tarragon takes this to another plane. Mince 1 – 2 tbsps of tarragon. Add the tarragon. Mix well.
4 minutes: Add the eggs to the frying pan. Stir well with the veggies. Add some sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Continue mixing.
2 minutes: The eggs should be nearly done. As soon as you see the last bit congealing and cooking, take it off the heat — this could be at any point in the next three minutes, depending on your heat. True French scrambled eggs would mean adding MORE butter just before it all congeals, that 30-60 seconds before it becomes a mass. Fuckin’ great, that, but a little too decadent.
1 minute: Butter the toast. Plate the sausage. The eggs should be off the heat by now.
DONE! Plate the eggs, grab the coffee, and dig in.