Over the last few years I have been dismayed at the dearth of knowledge in our general social circle around the subject of a proper breakfast — what it is and how to prepare it. So now, for the enjoyment of my fellow sportsmen/gastronomes, I describe my favorite breakfast.
We start by making biscuits. The recipe is:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In a mixing bowl, combine:
1 ½ cups of white flower
½ cup whole wheat flower
1 tablespoon of baking powder
dash of salt
Add 1/3 cup of shortening, and cut in with pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal.
Add one cup of milk and stir gently until all the flour is wet.
Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead gently for about 30 seconds. Roll out to about ¾ inch thick and cut with round biscuit cutter. Place on baking sheet with sides not touching, about ½ inch apart.
Bake until tops are golden brown.
We continue by frying bacon.
(A good venison sausage could always be substituted for the bacon if you have some bacon grease handy to cook the eggs in.)
Smoked is best. The kinds with maple sweeteners don’t work well, so avoid them. Choose something thick if you can find it, and don’t spend too much time worrying about getting the leanest bacon. Fat is what makes bacon valuable, and delicious.
To fry the bacon, start with a cold skillet. Cut the bacon into lengths that don’t exceed the skillet’s diameter. Fry them on medium heat, turning frequently to help keep the bacon from curling up. Don’t use a flattener. It gives the bacon a factory look that robs the presentation of its rustic nature. Drain the bacon as you remove it from the pan and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess grease. If you allow grease to pool under the bacon it will be excessively greasy when you serve it.
Breakfast, first and foremost, means eggs.
Everything else about the breakfast is designed to maximize the enjoyment of the eggs, which, for a proper breakfast, must be fried. Frying an egg requires some technique, and the right equipment.
To properly fry an egg, use an eight or nine inch skillet in which you have just cooked bacon. The temperature of the grease should be hot, but not smoking. If it smokes, the drippings will burn and ruin the flavor of the fat. Break two eggs into the skillet low over the surface so as not to break the yolks. Let them cook until the white part no longer appears translucent. It should be almost cooked through. If you don’t cook it long enough, they will tear when you try to turn them.
Turn the eggs and let them cook just long enough to finish the whites. About ten or fifteen seconds will do it. The yolk of a properly fried egg is never hard and the edges should develop a slightly crispy brown margin. When you turn them, you will notice bacon drippings stuck to the egg. This is highly desirable and a key to the wonderful flavor you seek.
The biscuits and bacon will probably be done at about the same time. This is good because of all the items on the plate it is most critical for the egg to be served hot. It should be the last thing to go on the plate. If your biscuits are done early, you can just leave them in the oven with the door propped open slightly to keep them warm.
Plate the biscuits, eggs, and bacon. Serve with softened butter and your favorite jam, or even better, some honey.
Add a cup of strong black coffee, and you’re ready to enjoy.
This meal takes practice. Timing, turning eggs, and getting the skillet temperature right are skills acquired through experience. Don’t be discouraged. The rewards are great, and your family and friends will crave your “proper breakfasts!”