Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Breakfast of Champions: Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I sure hope that Annie of is complimented by this post. I saw her photo and recipe for these brilliant bacon, egg and toast cups, and I knew I had to make them. I mean really - what a great idea, huh? It's breakfast all in a perfect little muffin-looking package. So tasty... and adorable! It's an ideal recipe for a long weekend when you actually have time to enjoy breakfast - I just had to share it with you in time for Labor Day.

So I took Annie's basic premise and pimped it out just a bit. Starting with an empty muffin tin, I first lined the outside of the individual wells with pre-cooked bacon. I used turkey bacon to keep the calories and fat at a less artery-clogging level (a girl has to try, right?). I then placed an English muffin half as the base instead of regular bread (cut to size with a biscuit cutter). In her version, Annie's next step was to top the bread with some shredded cheese. I, however, loaded up my version with a slice of fresh tomato, a dollop of goat cheese, and some fresh herbs from my garden (basil and oregano). Finally, the egg is the topper for it all. Place the muffin tin in a preheated 400 degree oven, and about 15 minutes later, you'll have the cutest little breakfast you ever did see.

As you can see, there's no real recipe, but there are a few tips to make the assembly go smoothly (some are Annie's, some are mine I learned the hard way!):
  • Use cooking spray or butter to coat the wells of the muffin tin so that you're cups will pop right out.
  • When pre-cooking the bacon, heat it through but don't get it to the crispy stage. It needs to be pliable enough to curl around the inside of the muffin wells, and still has some cooking time in the oven.
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Make a hollow-ish indention in the cheese layer where the yolk can sit. Nestle the yolk down in there before adding the whites.
  • Pour the eggs whites on top at the very end - it will seep into all the crevices and act as the glue that binds everything together.
  • Adjust the cooking time depending on how well-done you like your yolks. I love the gooeyness of over-easy yolks, and 15 minutes was just about right. Keep them in the oven 4-5 minutes longer to firm them up - just make sure the whites are cooked through, regardless.
  • I made a couple ultra low-fat, low-calorie versions by omitting the English muffin, cheese and egg yolk (kept the bacon, of course!). By using the tomato and herbs as the base, and filling the cup with only egg whites, it turned out almost equally as good. We have bacon to thank for that!

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