Breakfast sandwiches are a wonderful canvas (or excuse) for all sorts of delicious ingredients. Pesto, smoked salmon, waffles, steak — if you crave it, it can be worked into your breakfast sandwich. Taste something amazing on your sandwich at your new favorite lunch spot? Add a fried egg and you’re halfway to a whole new morning routine.
My home state of New Jersey is the holy land of breakfast sandwiches. Ask anyone who grew up in the Garden State about his or her morning favorite and they'll tell you that Taylor ham, egg, and cheese on a roll with salt, pepper, and ketchup reigns supreme. Taylor ham (also known as pork roll) is a regional specialty that consists of questionable cuts of pork that are ground, cured, and made into tube form. I assure you, it's delicious! These days that breakfast specialty is saved for the rare occasions, but the format of a breakfast sandwich lives on.
Think Like an Architect
When constructing any breakfast sandwich, structural integrity needs to be taken into consideration. You don’t want to bite into a super-crusty hard roll and then have the egg fly out the back while your tomatoes squeeze out the side. Choose a bread or roll that has some give. English muffins, brioche rolls, biscuits, or good-quality sandwich bread are great bases — and don't over-toast. Having some sort of binding ingredient to hold it all together is a good idea as well. Cheese, butter, roasted veggies, or even hummus would be excellent candidates.
Details, Details, Details
Lastly, the real key to an awesomely satisfying breakfast sandwich is simply a little TLC. Friends often ask why the sandwiches I make them are exponentially better than even their favorite deli. The answer is in the details. I take a lot of care and put in extra love when assembling any sandwich. That might mean sprinkling a little flaky salt on the tomato before topping it with the lettuce. Or making sure the slather of spicy maple butter gets into all the nooks and crannies and hits every edge of the bread for optimal flavor in every bite. If you put your heart into every layer, you’re guaranteed a good morning.
(Image credits: Karla Conrad; Faith Durand)