Perfect Breakfast Sandwich

If there’s one thing I’m no stranger to, it’s a breakfast sandwich after drinking too many glasses (bottles?) of wine the night before. This is our house favorite. American cheese is just trashy enough and melts super well, the crispy bacon adds the perfect crunch, and a few basil leaves add some herby freshness and compliment the heirloom tomatoes. And that easy garlic-habanero aioli – I’d slather that on almost anything.

In terms of how to prepare the sandwiches, get all of your ingredients ready and then fry the egg as the last step. No one likes a cold, congealed egg yolk.

Makes two sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 habanero, seeds removed (or not), finely chopped
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 slices bacon
  • Four large slices of rustic bread (we prefer sourdough)
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 4 slices american cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have it)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, garlic, habanero, a small pinch of salt, and a few turns of freshly cracked pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Lay bacon in a single layer onto baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, making sure not to overlap. Bake until you reach your level of desired crispiness, approx 15-20 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and place slices on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  4. Heat a grill pan or saucepan over medium-high heat. Butter the slices of bread and place the bread, butter side down, in the hot pan. Cook until golden brown and crispy, approx 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove grilled bread onto serving plates and add two slices of cheese to one slice of bread for each of the sandwiches. The residual heat from the grilled bread will slightly melt the cheese.
  6. Build the sandwiches by layering the basil, tomatoes (sprinkle the tomatoes with a bit of salt and pepper), bacon, and red onion on top of the slices with the melted cheese.
  7. Spread the aioli on the remaining slice of bread for each of the sandwiches. Set aside.
  8. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil (or melt butter) in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Crack egg into pan and cook until whites are set but the yolk is still runny, approx 3-4 minutes. Slide the cooked egg onto the first sandwich. Repeat with the second egg and add to the second sandwich.
  9. Top each sandwich with the remaining slice of bread that’s been spread with aioli and serve immediately.

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