While America works itself into a tizzy over Taco Bell's wimpy little waffle tacos and Dunkin' Donuts' faux eggs benedict breakfast sandwich, we're going to sit back and let you have them all. Why? Because we've got THIS beauty to dream about:
The Bacon + Egg + Cheese is the creation of Marc Forgione, chef and owner of Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York and (ahem) winner of a Michelin Star, a two-star New York Times review, and a 26 Zagat food rating. So basically, this is a Michelin-worthy bacon-egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich, if there ever was one.
His new book, "Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories From The Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant," explains that the sandwich's origins were hangover based, because of course.
I grew up on Long Island, and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich with hot sauce from your local deli is as classic as it gets. My mom made a pretty mean BEC sandwich, too, and wrapped it in foil for me to grab as I was rushing out the door late for school. I came up with this version while I was at BLT Steak one morning after a few too many cocktails. There were always extra popovers lying around the kitchen, and sriracha was the go-to condiment at our family meals.
Could this begin a new era of popover breakfast sandwiches? We sure hope so.
BACON + EGG + CHEESE
2 popover tins with 6 wells each
FOR THE BACON
4 (1/4-inch) thick-cut slices Black Pig Meat Co. bacon or other applewood-smoked bacon
FOR THE POPOVERS
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 fresh or 1/2 dried bay leaf
4 cups whole milk
8 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
FOR THE EGGS
12 large eggs, preferably farm-fresh
1/2 cup julienned Marinated Tomatoes (see recipe below)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh curly parsley
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
ASSEMBLE THE DISH
Finely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano
Chopped fresh curly parsley
Red pepper flakes
MAKE THE BACON
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF; position the rack in the middle. Lay the bacon out on a rack set on top of a shallow baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
MAKE THE POPOVERS
2. Place the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf on a piece of cheesecloth and tie the ends together to form a sachet. Place the sachet and milk into a medium saucepot set over medium heat.
3. While the milk is warming up, place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the salt, and whisk the eggs on medium speed. Keep the mixer running while the milk warms up -- the time it takes for the eggs and salt to be properly whisked is the time it takes for the milk to warm.
4. Spray the popover tins with nonstick cooking spray and place them on baking sheets. Place the baking sheets and popover tins in the oven to warm up.
5. As soon as the milk has small bubbles forming around the edge of the pot, remove the pot from the heat and discard the herb sachet. With the mixer motor still running, slowly whisk one-third of the infused milk into the eggs to temper them; add the milk slowly so as not to curdle the eggs. Gradually add another third of the milk, and then the final third. With the motor still running, whisk in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until fully incorporated, being careful not to overwhisk. Remove the hot tins from the oven and pour the popover batter all the way to the top of each well. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and return the tins to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the popovers rise by half. Rotate the pan so the popovers cook evenly, and bake for another 20 minutes or until the popovers are golden brown and very puffy. Transfer the tins to a rack and let cool slightly.
MAKE THE EGGS
6. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Marinated Tomatoes, and cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
7. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat. As soon as the butter starts to brown and smell nutty, pour in the egg mixture (you may need to do this in batches, and if you do, ration your butter accordingly), reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the eggs are scrambled to your liking. In the last minute of cooking, fold in the chives, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
ASSEMBLE THE DISH
8. Cut 4 popovers in half horizontally; reserve the remaining popovers for later use (see Note). Top the bottom half of each popover with scrambled eggs. Add a slice of bacon to each sandwich and close with the popover top. Sprinkle some cheese, parsley, and red pepper flakes on top. Serve with sriracha on the side.
Note: The extra popovers are delicious on their own, or served alongside egg sandwiches, topped with butter and jam.
MAKES 1 QUART
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 packed cups sun-dried tomatoes
3 fresh basil leaves
In a small saucepan, heat the oil and red pepper flakes until the oil registers 200 degrees Fahrenheit on a deep-frying thermometer. Pack the tomatoes into a clean 1-quart jar. Pour the oil over the tomatoes, add the basil leaves, and close the jar. Wait at least 2 hours before using. Store the jar in the refrigerator. The tomatoes will last indefinitely.