Breakfast Smörgås – Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich


I really love a good open-faced sandwich, I suppose it’s my Swedish heritage and the tradition of smörgås. Two slices usually seems like too much bread, unless I use so much filling it’s unwieldy. I also have the Swedish yen for rye bread over all others. WinCo had fresh rye bread on sale for just $1.78 a loaf the other day. Who could resist?

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of rye bread with butter
  • Havarti Cheese sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp of reserved bacon fat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 oz breakfast sausage
  • 2 TBSP yellow onion
  • 1 mushroom
  • 8 grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBSP fresh fennel tops
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

So, I put 1 tsp of saved bacon fat but you could use butter or olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat and added 2 TBSP of chopped onion, salt, and pepper and cooked until tender.

Meanwhile I removed the casing from 3 breakfast sausage links, but you could just measure out 3 ounces of breakfast sausage if you don’t buy it in links. I added the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a fork.

While the sausage was cooking, I sliced one mushroom in very thin slices.

I put a griddle on and started heating it to medium.

I put a small sauce pan on and heated to medium high with 2 tsp of olive oil. I added one clove of garlic (minced), shook in a few red pepper flakes and tossed in 8 whole grape tomatoes. I want the tomatoes to blacken a bit, so I shake them only to keep them from burning.

On the griddle, I laid down two slices of rye bread, buttered on one side and placed buttered side down. I sliced very thin slices of Havarti cheese and placed on both slices to melt while the bread toasted.

I chopped 2 TBSP of fresh fennel fronds and tossed into the sausage and mushrooms.  I cooked some fennel the other night and saved the tops knowing they are a delicious addition to anything with tomatoes.

I cut the top fifth off a fresh lemon and squeezed about 1 TBSP of lemon juice into the tomatoes, stirred and added the tomato sauce to the pan with the sausage, mushrooms and fennel.

Meanwhile, I poached 2 eggs in the microwave, breaking each into a tbsp of water in a plastic egg poacher. Poaching takes about 40 seconds for 2 eggs.

Everything should be ready together. I spread the sausage, mushroom, and tomato blend on top of both slices of bread. Then placed one egg on each slice.

 

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Sausage, Green Beans & Dried Plums

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This was a fast, simple dinner that took very little time or effort.

  • 2 pork sausage links
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 cups of green and yellow beans
  • 3 dried plums
  • salt and pepper

I sautéed two breakfast links in my cast iron pan. When they were half done, I added some chopped onion, green and yellow beans and put the lid on my pan, adding salt and pepper. While they cooked, i sliced the dried plums in strips. I added them when the beans were nearly tender and put the lid back on. When they veggies were tender, it was ready to serve.

It’s a nice, hearty dinner with lots of umami and a bit of sweet surprise from the plums. Pork and dried fruit are always delicious together.

Red Chard & Kidney Bean Soup

Red Chard & Kidney Bean Soup

I had some fresh red chard the other day and wanted to make something simple. I decided on a simple soup with some sausage. I had some breakfast sausage so I worked with that.

I diced 1/2 of a yellow onion and two cloves of garlic and sautéed in about 1 tbsp of olive oil. I added salt, pepper and a couple teaspoons of oregano. Then, I added 6 ounces of breakfast sausage and cooked until it browned. I peeled and chopped 2 carrots and 1 potato and added them. Then I added 1 small 6 oz. can of diced tomatoes and about 12 oz of water and left it to simmer.

Meanwhile I cut the red chard leaves in thing strips and about 10 minutes before serving I added the chard and cooked until it was softened. I also added a can of kidney beans. I did not bother straining or rinsing the beans, knowing the liquid will just enrich the broth.

This made a delicious and simple soup that only got better the next day and the next. It made 4 servings.

Sausage, Mushroom and Chard Omelet with Dill/Garlic Cream Cheese

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Every once in a while I just have to make myself a decadent, delicious omelet full of good stuff. This was a new one for me as I have never used chard before in an omelet, but it works well. It is slightly bitter so so I added some flavored cream cheese to add a bit of sweetness to balance its bitterness. It was absolutely delicious.

First I sliced up 4 small Crimini mushrooms into thin vertical slices. I heated a small non-reactive pan to low-medium  and tossed the mushrooms in the pan without any oil or water. I stirred them to keep them from sticking or burning. Dry heating the mushrooms for 5 minutes or so will suck out some of the excess moisture so your omelet stuffing won’t be too full of liquid and get all messy. The mushrooms will have a deeper, richer flavor if you dry cook them first and will retain a firmer texture. It’s a win all the way round and anytime mushrooms are featured in your dish, you should just dry cook them before you start cooking your recipe. You can read more about the dry sauté method here, though I think low-medium gives me better results, but then I did not want them browned and caramelized.

Now that the mushrooms are ready to cook, I put a tbsp of butter in the pan with the mushrooms. I also added small pieces of breakfast sausage that I cut into pieces about 1/3rd of an inch long. I let the mushrooms and sausage cook together while I chopped up the leaf from one stalk of chard (about 1 cup of chopped chard) that I had cleaned and removed from the stem earlier (I used the stems in a salad.) I layered the chard on top so and put a lid on and let it all cook together.

While that cooked, I flavored 1/3 cup of cream cheese by adding 1 tsp of dried dill weed and 1 tsp of garlic powder and stirring and stirring and stirring and stirring until the cream cheese was softened and it was all mixed together. I added some salt to bring up the flavor a bit and cut the sweetness.

Checking back on the mixture of sausage, mushrooms and chard, I stirred a few times, mixing them together and added a touch of salt and pepper. The idea is to season the components of your dish so that when they come together the dish is well-seasoned. If you wait to season at the end, it will probably be under-seasoned and bland and then when you sit down to eat you will put too much salt and pepper on to compensate.

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When the sausage was done and the chard was tender, it was time to make the omelet. I used a lefse griddle, but you can use a pancake griddle or other large flat cooking surface. I heated the griddle to 250° F while the sausage mixture was cooking. I also mixed up 3 eggs, beating them until smooth and adding about 2 TBSP of water. I also added some pepper. Now, you don’t salt scrambled eggs because you want them to be light, tender and fluffy. If you are cooking eggs over easy or sunny side up, you can salt them, but not for scrambled eggs or omelets.

I took ! TBSP of butter on the end of a fork and spread it all over the griddle, letting it melt and cover the entire surface with a thin layer of butter. Then I poured the beaten eggs onto the center of the griddle, taking the handles on the side of the griddle and tipping it forward and backward, left and right to make the eggs spread out into as large and thin a surface as possible. Then I let it cook. The heat is low so it will cook in about 3 minutes or so, ample time to fork small dollops of the flavored cream cheese all over the center area of the omelet. After that, I spread the sausage, mushroom and chard over the center, spreading it thinly and leaving about 2 inches on all sides uncovered.

When the eggs were done, I used a lefse turner, but you can use a thin spatula, to turn that two inch edge inward over the omelet stuffing and then began rolling the omelet over and over sort of like a burrito. As you can see, I folded it over four times, making several layers of egg and stuffing. I slid it onto a plate and cut it in half before serving.

So, the flavored cream cheese was decadent as all get out and melted into the sausage, mushrooms and chard it was amazing. The omelet filing was delicious, rich and hearty with just enough spiciness from the sausage and the garlic in the cream cheese. The eggs were tender and lightly done. The real secret to delicious eggs is low heat.