I have my parents to thank for so many righteous things I’ve experienced in this lifetime. It’s from my dad that I was introduced to video games and horror flicks (Poltergeist and Nightmare on Elm Street were my favorite), both of which I grew to love and continue to love as an adult. It’s from my mom that I learned to embrace shoes and handbags not just as arbitrary accessories to ones’ outfit but as a necessity to a woman’s sole existence. But on a more sentimental note, I honestly have to thank them for making the decision to move our family from Peru to the U.S. Back then, I was only two years old and I can only imagine how tough it must have been for a young couple like them with a toddler to get acclimated in a foreign country.
The first job my parents acquired was at Jack in the Box, a fast food joint just down the road from where our apartment was. One would usually work the day shift and the other the night shift but sometimes schedules would go awry and they’d both end up having to work the same hours. It was during these times that they’d bring me along and I’d sit in the booths, sucking on ketchup packets, waiting until one was able to take me home.
After their work shift, oftentimes they would bring food home. Things like: cheeseburgers, french fries, tacos, chicken sandwiches — these were all novel things to me and I loved them. Now of course I avoid most fast food chains like the plague but Jack in the Box seems to have forged itself and created a permanent niche in my little box of desires that, even as a grown woman, I can’t shake. Unnatural, yes. Unhealthy, truly! Luckily, there are no Jack in the Box locations within 200 miles of my home so I’ve been spared.
My zeal for breakfast consumes me and I feel obliged to peg Jack in the Box’s ham and cheese croissant sandwiches as the culprit. I used to eat these all the time (still, unhealthy) as a youth and thought they were just the best things ever. What set their version apart from all others was the thin smear of mayonnaise that warmed and seeped through the pillowy layers of flaky croissant pastry. And if you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you know how much I care about my mayonnaise.
Today, I made a sandwich. It can be considered a breakfast sandwich, though I ended up eating this for lunch and regularly eat breakfast-y meals for dinner, so I’ll leave it up to you how you want to handle it. It’s simple but oh so flavorful and has all the tastiest bits that I adore.
Perfect breakfast sandwich — Fluffy croissant with crispy bacon, fried egg and hash browns
Makes 1 yumilicious sammie
1 buttery, flaky croissant, sliced in half
2 strips good, thick-cut bacon
1 thick slice hothouse tomato
1 generous handful frozen hash brown
1 slice American cheese
Mayonnaise, preferably homemade*
Salt and pepper, to taste
*Homemade mayonnaise recipe to follow post
In a large frying pan set over medium-high heat, sizzle up the bacon until crisp. Fetch and sit them onto a paper-lined plate to drain but keep the fat in the pan. Cook the hash browns in this until golden and crunchy, flipping over a few times, maybe 7 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Pour this onto a separate plate to drain as well. Next, fry up the egg, sunny-side up and seasoned with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and once the bottom is nicely crunchy, cover the pan with a lid to steam and cook the top faster. Slide this onto another plate. Lastly, add the tomato slice to the pan and fry up until slightly softened and browned, not much time at all, 1-2 minutes tops. Season with salt and pepper, of course (because you all are seasoning your tomatoes…right??). Gingerly, set aside.
Assembly: Swipe the bottom of the croissant half with a lavish amount of mayonnaise. Sprinkle with hash browns and put the layer of cheese right on top. Place this into a toaster oven or conventional oven to broil until the cheese is melty and dripping over the sides. Drape the bacon over this, then the tomato, then the egg. Top with the other half of the croissant. Squish down and cut in half or devour as is, at your own risk. Lots of delicious egg yolk to run down your wrists for sure…
Homemade mayonnaise recipe
This is by far the best homemade mayonnaise recipe I was able to encounter throughout my extensive trials (and believe me, they were many!). It’s Julia Child’s version of mayonnaise using a food processor and it’s completely fool-proof. The only thing you truly need to mind is the speed at which you introduce the oil: droplet by droplet at first but then much more rapidly later on. I’ve tried using traditional olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, and soybean oil with the latter being my favorite to date.
Makes about 2 cups worth of homemade mayonnaise
*Edited 4/7/16: I’ve found you can make this using an immersion blender for an even quicker method to making mayonnaise. For some reason, the ratios don’t work the same as in the food processor, so if you’re going to do the immersion blender method, use 2 whole eggs instead of the 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks. Dump all the ingredients listed into a large, wide-mouth mason glass jar (big enough opening that the immersion blender fits in easily) and blend starting at the bottom and working your way up. The mayo should start to form almost instantaneously. Sometimes, freak accidents happen and the mayo refuses to form and it will collapse and separate. Don’t panic. Add another egg and it should come together.
1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks, at room temperature or quickly warmed slightly by putting into a bowl with lukewarm water for 10 minutes
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (I use Coleman’s)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 cups 100% pure soybean or canola oil
Pinch black pepper
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the egg and yolks together for about a minute until pale and luscious.
While the machine runs, add the mustard, salt, and vinegar. Then, start adding the oil, droplets at first, then a very thin stream, then gradually increasing amount until all gone. Continue processing until mixture is thick. Stop and give it a taste, adding more vinegar, salt if desired for your taste buds. Add a pinch of pepper, stir. This keeps in the fridge, covered, for an extensive amount of time, about 2 weeks.