These days everyone is all about some sourdough bread. I see it all over YouTube, and in the markets. Then yesterday I saw something that told me EVERYONE really is all about sourdough because I went to our little Georgetown, KY farmers market and there was a whole booth set up just for sourdough! There are only about 10-12 booths and one of them is totally and completely dedicated to sourdough. I couldn't resist buying some! Bonus, because she had it wrapped up real pretty. I am such a sucker for packaging.
Why is sourdough good for you? Well, answers vary, depending on where you look, but they say sourdough is easier to digest, has a lower glycemic index, is better for gluten sensitivity, has more good acid, has healthy bacteria, less yeast, fewer preservatives, and provides good fuel.
Better yet, sourdough has always been my favorite, so this new fad pleases me greatly. I decided to use my sourdough to make Ina's Bacon, Egg, & Cheddar Sandwich from her latest cookbook, Modern Comfort Food. To make the recipe healthier and reduce my gluten intake, I made a breakfast toast or an open-faced sandwich. I do this nearly all the time now because my tummy cannot handle much gluten anymore.
Now some may say, "Kim...this is no slim down healthy sandwich." I'll agree that the calorie content is probably on the high side, but I also don't think calories are the only thing we should pay attention to. We have to find healthy ways of incorporating favorites like the breakfast sandwich into a healthier lifestyle and I think this sandwich is perfectly balanced and achieves that goal. I'm also of the firm belief that every once in awhile we need a healthy dose of fats, whether it's healthy fat from avocado or fat from bacon.
Plus, we are representing all the basic food groups here, and using portion control: a slice of sourdough, some sliced avocado, one slice of bacon, two eggs, and two tablespoons of cheese. You are getting a lot of bang for your buck because, this is no sissy sandwich. It is so substantial that you are likely to be full for hours. I tend to look for more substantial healthier meals that keep me from getting hungry and having cravings at inconvenient times because that's when my not-so-healthy impulses tend to get the best of me (chocolate and sugar, I'm talking to you).
Something interesting about Ina's approach to this sandwich recipe is the way she cooks the eggs. Would you believe she cooks them in the microwave? I had to read it and then reread it several times because I could not believe THE Ina Garten cooks her eggs in the microwave AND put it in a cookbook! And you know what? They are oh so creamy and delicious! You'd never guess. She puts the eggs in an oiled bowl and microwaves them at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, and it works like magic. The eggs are so good! I love this approach and will continue to try it out. I thought this was an incredibly delicious and filling sandwich. I was trying to think about how to describe it and words like "unctuous and top-quality and so satisfying" came to mind. It's only a few simple ingredients, but you can taste them all so well and they all play together so nicely.
Adapted from Modern Comfort Food
by Ina Garten
2 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons milk
salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons grated sharp white Cheddar, divided
Bread of some kind: English Muffins, bagels, sourdough bread, etc.
1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Notes: Ina wrote this recipe as an English muffin sandwich and you can certainly serve it that way or on any other type of bread you fancy. There are so few ingredients here and it does pay to use the best you can buy. I love the Tillamook sharp white Cheddar and can really taste the difference.
To cook the bacon heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally, until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. (I never cook my bacon on the stove top. I always preheat the oven to 375F and lay out all the bacon on a baking sheet and bake around 10-15 minutes, until done to desired level of crispiness).
NEW METHOD FOR COOKING EGGS: Meanwhile, generously brush two small microwavable bowls (about 4 inches in diameter) with olive oil and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour half of the egg mixture into each of the two oiled bowls and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the eggs gently with a fork to combine the cooked parts with the uncooked parts. Continue to microwave and stir at 30-second intervals, until the eggs are puffed and almost cooked through. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Cheddar in each bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese and finish cooking the eggs.
Meanwhile, toast the English muffins, or bread of your choice, until nicely browned. Place the bottom half of each toasted English muffin, or bread of your choice, on a plate. Layer half of the avocado slices on each one and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break the bacon strips in half and place two halves on each sandwich. Slide the eggs, cheese side up, on top of the bacon, and sprinkle a tablespoon of the remaining Cheddar on each sandwich. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with the tops of the toasted English muffins. Serve hot.