There's nothing better than a hearty breakfast

January 8, 2014 

Nutritionists tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is a time to fill the gas tank and be ready for the rigor of the labor to come.

It was a vastly more important meal when most of us labored on the land, but it is still important to get a good start to the day, even if your labor is sitting behind an office desk.

The etymology of the word is straight forward; it comes from an English word with Latin roots that means to break the fast.

What we consider a traditional breakfast was also a gift from our English cousins. A full English breakfast, the colloquial English term for their traditional breakfast, still includes eggs, bacon, baked beans, toast and a grilled tomato.

The full English stands in contrast to the Continental breakfast, a simple matter of coffee, bread and jam. The Italians do pretty much the same with their prima colazione. But those sneaky Euros often have a second breakfast, a brotzeit in Southern Germany, that can be quite hearty.

No matter the origins and, today, no matter the time of day, a stout breakfast is one of the most satisfying meals. But there is no reason to stick to a traditional menu. The Vietnamese often start their day with a steaming bowl of beef and noodle soup, called pho. Another Asian idea that works well in the morning is the much more substantial duck egg. Pair that with the best bacon in the world and fresh-baked bread and you will never be the same again. Then again, there is nothing but goodness in a modern American breakfast sand

wich that you've made yourself.

A Continental breakfast

This breakfast idea hardly requires a recipe. Buy croissants at a local bakery. Use locally made jam and jelly.

BREAKFAST SANDWICH

Timing is important with this recipe, as you want everything to come together at the same time. This sandwich loses its pizzazz when it cools down.

1 loaf French bread

4 eggs

1/4 cup cream

Salt and pepper

6 slices best quality ham

4 slices cheddar cheese

Optional: homemade mayonnaise

Put the bread in a 350 degree oven, just to warm. Combine the eggs and cream with just a small pinch of salt and two pinches of pepper; whisk lightly. Make an omelet in a non-stick skillet, being careful not to overcook the eggs. In another sauté pan that is lightly oiled warm the ham over a brisk flame. Remove the bread from the oven and slice into sandwich size and then slice open. Remove the ham and place on a cutting board, add two slices of cheese, slide the omelet on top and finish with the last slices of cheese. Fold over and put in the sandwich, add mayonnaise if you like, close the sandwich and serve immediately.

A QUICK BREAKFAST SOUP FOR TWO

Some people may have a problem making soup for breakfast, but this is so good, so nutritious and satisfying, that if you will just try it once, you will be hooked.

2 cups best-quality chicken stock

2 cups Udon noodles (the refrigerated section in most Asian markets)

4 cooked breakfast sausages

2 eggs (try duck eggs, also found in most Asian markets)

Small bunch cilantro

1 sliced jalapeño pepper

Hot sauce is optional

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer, add the sausages after cutting into bite sizes and the sliced jalapeño. Separately simmer the eggs in water, 5 minutes for a chicken egg, 7 minutes for a duck egg. Remove the noodles from the package and simmer in water just until they have loosened up. Drain and add the noodles to the stock and divide into two bowls. Carefully peel the eggs (they are soft boiled) and slide them into the soup, one each of course and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

SCRAMBLED EGGS ON TOAST WITH THE BEST BACON IN THE WORLD

If you are a foodie you have undoubtedly heard of Benton's bacon, which many top foodies call the best in the world. You can order it online at http://bentonscountryhams2.com/

The hard part of this recipe is how long it takes to scramble the eggs, 20 minutes, and not a minute less. If you hurry the process you will not achieve the desired results, which is eggs that have a custard texture.

4 farm fresh eggs

1/4 cup local cream

3 tablespoons butter

1 loaf fresh French bread

Benton's Bacon

Add 2 tablespoons butter to a non-stick pan and melt over the lowest setting on the stove top. It will take a while, but the low temperature is absolutely essential. Lightly whisk the eggs and cream together and add to the pan. Just leave them there, give it a slow stir every once in a while, but don't sweat it. For the first 12 to 15 minutes it seems nothing is happening. Meanwhile fry the bacon over a medium flame until crisp, set aside and drain. Butter and then toast the sliced bread. Now the eggs will begin to take on a custard-like texture, stir gently. When the eggs are firm, add to the buttered toasted bread and top with the bacon. Do not overcook the eggs.

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