This is more a set of assembly instructions rather than a complete recipe, but even if you haven’t made muffins from this recipe (and whyever NOT may I ask????), you can still enjoy this delicious way to start a lazy Sunday. All the preparation can be done the night before and the sandwiches left in the fridge overnight. In the morning, just 20 minutes in a warm oven and breakfast is served!
Now you might think that these sandwiches bear a marked resemblance to a breakfast menu item available at a well-known high street chain of food outlets (Lawks! What a convoluted way to avoid saying the M-word!). And you would be correct. It’s a great sandwich. I just think it can be made better and far cheaper at home.
Now this recipe includes mention of cheese. On the one hand, it’s a bit like gilding the lily, because you’ve already got two lots of protein in there, but then on the other, if you’re going to indulge in a luxurious lazy Sunday brunch sandwich, you might as well go the whole hog. Don’t feel obliged to use any cheese at all but, when melted, it does provide a lovely, squidgy ‘glue’ keeping everything together. I’ve tried these with several variations: Gruyere is very melty, Cheddar is also popular, but top marks go to those little foil-wrapped cheese triangles, which just seem to have the best mix of smoothness, cheesiness and creaminess without being either too overpowering or too oily.
Avoid pre-packaged ham if at all possible. Apart from paying extra for the handling and packaging, chances are that there’s a fair bit of water bulking out the weight, and nothing dampens the prospect of a delicious sandwich more than having to blot your sliced meat before using. Most supermarkets have deli counters where you can get delicious ham sliced to order and to your liking, sometimes straight from a whole joint. If you can find it, Brunswick is a very tasty smoked ham – a household favourite here.
I’m also including instructions for making the omelette. Omelettes were one of the first things I learned to cook as a child, so this is completely to my own taste, but then I am of the opinion that that is how everyone should approach cooking. I don’t have any truck with being told how an omelette should be – I’m going to cook it how I like it, and how I like it is without any runny bits thankyouverymuch. Feel free to disregard and do your own thing.
Breakfast Sandwiches – serves 4 (or 1 if you’re very hungry)
4 slices ham
4 portions of cheese (optional)
small pan for omelette-making
circular pastry cutter
2 baking sheets
- Make an omelette with the eggs: Whisk the eggs briefly, season with pepper (the ham is salty enough for us, but go with your own preference). Melt the butter in the pan and when it starts to bubble and sizzle, pour in the eggs. As the edges of the eggs cook, use a spatula to draw them to the centre. The uncooked egg will run into its place. This will create folds of cooked egg and make for a fairly deep omelette. If the finished omelette looks a little too wobbly for your liking, pop the pan under the grill for 2-3 minutes. It makes the egg puff up nicely.
- Use the pastry cutter to cut four circles of egg from the cooked omelette, and 8 circles of ham from the slices. If your ham slices are small, have 1 neat circle and a pile of trimmings – tastes just as delicious!
- Tear the muffins apart and spread each half with the cheese of your choice (if using).
- Lay one circle of ham onto the cheese and the circle of egg on top of the ham. Top with a second circle of ham and finally the other half of the muffin.
- Wrap closely in foil. Keep in the fridge overnight if preparing them for the following day.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C, 150°C Fan
- Lay sandwiches on one of the baking sheets and lay the second baking sheet on top. This encourages the muffins and filling to squidge together nicely.
- Warm in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Cost: £3.60 Using home-made muffins and cheese triangles (July, 2011)