Pancetta and Heirloom Tomato Breakfast Panini

final sandwich on cutting board

I don’t eat out often, so when I do, I try to make it really worthwhile and eat at locales where the menus seem inspired and creative. Recently I came upon this little cafe in manhattan beach with just that sort of menu, and I ordered this breakfast sandwich. It was so lovely. A little bit of italy for breakfast, just my sort of thing. The sweet acidity of the tomatoes, the saltiness of the pancetta, and the richness of the scrambled egg with a bit of melted mozzarella. So good. A recipe is almost not needed; just look at the pictures and you’ll get the idea.

Chop up some ripe tomatoes, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, a little salt and pepper, some torn basil leaves, and some minced garlic (optional).

Saute the pancetta in a little olive oil until crisp

bread and egg
Toast your baguette, and wisk 2 eggs with a little salt and pepper and the cheese slices, if you like. You can add the cheese slices at any time, this is just my lazy way of doing it.

Scramble your eggs, however you like. I use some of the leftover oil from frying the pancetta and heat the pan at medium-low heat. When it foams, add the egg mixture. I use a rubber spatula to gently turn the eggs over, every 20 seconds or so. Too much movement and they loose that tender fluffiness.

build your sandwich
Now its time to build your sandwich. Spread a tablespoon or two of store bought basil pesto on your toasted baguette (I say store bought because I’m trying to not overwhelm you with steps, just take a deep breath and enjoy not having to make your own pesto :-))
Top with the pancetta, tomato-basil mixture, and finally the scrambled eggs. Press the other baguette slice on top, and cut in two. Share the other half with whoever has been particularly nice to you today, at least that’s what I do.

Bon Apetit!

Pancetta and Heirloom Tomato Breakfast Panini
3 slices Pancetta, or Bacon
1 small baguette, soft and light on the inside, a bit crusty on the outside
1 medium sized tomato, or 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
4 or so torn basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 eggs
2 slices mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

1. Chop tomatoes, mix with torn basil leaves, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Add a little minced garlic if you like, and season with salt and pepper

2. Saute Pancetta on medium heat in a little of olive oil, until crispy.

3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a little salt and pepper, add cheese slices.

4. Heat pan used to fry pancetta on medium low heat. You can use the leftover oil from the pancetta to coat the pan and give the eggs a nice flavor. Add egg mixture and gently scrap pan and turn over eggs every 20-30 seconds. It should take about 2-3 minutes until they’re firm. In the meantime, toast your baguette in the oven for a few minutes.

5. Build your sandwich: Spread the pesto on both bread slices. Add the pancetta, tomato mixture, and finally the scrambled eggs. Top with the other slice of bread and cut in two. Enjoy!


Easy Eggs Benedict

Why, hello.

I had no intentions of photographing and posting our breakfast this morning. It was just supposed to be a simple throw-together of ingredients I had in my fridge. But it ending up tasting so good, and with such minimal effort.

I thought I should share.

(Plus, I got a new lens for my Nikon camera and wanted to tinker around with it a bit.)

(I only had yellow mustard in my fridge, hence the yellow coloring)

Its a Whats-In-Your-Fridge Eggs Benedict

turkey lunch meat… check
butter, and more butter… check, check
run of the mill sandwich bread… check
lemon… check
eggs… check

Sure you can upgrade any of these ingredients if you like. English muffins or biscuits would be killer as a base for this notorious dish, but our family’s standard whole wheat sandwich bread was still tasty. The biggest surprise for me and everyone else was how good the Honey Smoked Oscar Meyer Turkey cold cuts were when I browned them in a skillet. The honey caramelized a bit and really brought out the smokey flavor in the turkey. Normally, if I planned out an eggs benedict recipe for a post, I’d probably buy some Serrano ham or extra thick bacon, and make some homemade biscuits. All of which would cost me a pretty penny and take up a bunch of my time, and also your time, if you decided to make it. But the fun of this recipe is we can all make something super delicious and quick with ingredients we have in our fridge already.

So here is the quick-y recipe

Oh, and I make my Hollandaise sauce with a blender, so its super easy.

Easy Eggs Benedict ~ serves 4
12 thin slices of Honey Smoked Turkey Breast, or favorite smoked sandwich meat (the smoked part is important)
4 slices sandwich bread

Hollandaise Sauce:
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 sticks of butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
lemon zest from 1/4 to a half a lemon
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 small clove of garlic, crushed to a paste or grated finely
1/2 teaspoon salt and white pepper to taste (black is fine too)
1 tablespoon water to thin out a tiny bit
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons chopped chives or scallions

1. Add your egg yolks, lemon juice, dijon mustard, smoked paprika, lemon zest and crushed garlic to the blender. Blend for 1 minute.
2. In a small pan, melt your butter until it comes to a gentle simmer.
3. With your blender on high, slowly stream in the hot melted butter, blend for an extra 10 seconds or so, until its a creamy consistency.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. (1/2 tsp salt might be too salty for some, so work your way up to that if you like)
5. Thin out the sauce with 1 Tablespoon water, blend.

if you want to keep the sauce warm, place the blender-pitcher in a bowl or pot of warm water until ready to use.

Poaching the eggs
4 eggs
2 Tablespoon vinegar
8 cups of water

1. In a medium/large sized pot, fill with water. (Enough to cover the eggs completely once in the pot)
2. Add vinegar (vinegar helps the poached egg keep a nice shape in the boiling water)
3. bring to a low boil, gently crack eggs over the water, dropping them in as close to the water as possible, one at a time.

4. Turn heat to low, so the water is simmering.
5. Cook 2 minutes for a runny yolk, 3-3 1/2 minutes for a gently set yolk.

Assembling the Eggs Benedict

1. Heat a non-stick skillet on high for 1 minute. Fry smoked turkey breast slices in 2 or three batches, so as not to overlap and overcrowd pan. About 2 minutes per side.
2. Toast your bread, no need to butter it since there is so much butter in the sauce already.
3. Layer your toast with the fried turkey slices, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra salt, some smoked paprika and chopped chives.

Bon appétit!