Friday, January 11, 2008

The Eternal Breakfast

Pictured: Last night's dinner-- Cilantro and Ginger Salmon Cake with Tomato and Garlic Salsa.

I ate three English Muffins today. Why, you might ask? The short answer is that I was trying to eat stuff is was already in the house to be economical. The more accurate answer is that I was painting and still in my pjs and well, lazy. So I ate three English Muffins (not all at once). I suppose there are worse things that I could have binged on (doritos, chocolate covered pretzels, marshmallow peeps, etc.). As I was chewing the last toasted, golden, buttery goodness of my third and final EM of the day it made me realize how fantastic EM's are and it got me thinking... What would I eat if I knew it was the last meal I'd eat for a while (I'm not going to say my last meal ever because well, I don't want to be morbid-- this is a blog about quiche after all. I generally want to keep things light and fluffy). However, there was even a book that came out recently that interviewed a bevy of world-renowned chefs and asked them what they would choose for their "last meal on earth"-- Krispy Kreme donuts, cheeseburgers and oysters were at the top of the list... So I started mentally assembling my final, perfect meal. I came up with the winning trifecta: an English Muffin drenched in butter, accompanied by 2 over-medium eggs and a sausage patty. and I'm not talking about hand-formed all natural sausage either. I want the frozen, brown coaster-sized, factory-pressed disc of "sausage". Call it a guilty pleasure. Call me what you will. I do hail from a postage-stamp sized town in the Diner mecca of central Massachusetts so maybe that is from whence this all stems. I make no apologies.

However, in the spirit of the culinary arts, I will provide you with a recipe for homemade english muffins. If you try them out let me know! I will be waiting by the toaster with my trusty orange and white package of 6, neatly stacked. I can resist neither nooks nor crannies.

English Muffins
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Show: Good Eats
Episode: The Muffin Man

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup hot water
1 envelope dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
Non-stick vegetable spray
Special equipment: electric griddle, 3-inch metal rings, see Cook's Note*
In a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, shortening, and hot water, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool. In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water and rest until yeast has dissolved. Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Preheat the griddle to 300 degrees F.

Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to mixture and beat thoroughly. Place metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Using #20 ice cream scoop, place 2 scoops into each ring and cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack, remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.

*Cook's Note: Small tuna cans with tops and bottoms removed work well for metal rings.

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