The Great All American Breakfast
American Breakfasts ARE AMAZING!!!
I am English, but I love love love American Breakfasts!
You may ask yourself, what right does an English person have to write about American breakfasts? Well this is an appreciation page, showing the breakfast dishes from a foreigner's point of view.
If you are American you should be flattered at my obsessive greed for your delicious biscuits, your hash browns and your enormous pancakes!
If you are English, read on to discover why America does the first meal of the day soooo well!
Pancakes, Waffles and French Toast
All these can be served with huge lumps of butter, syrup, fruit, whipped cream and/or powdered sugar.
Not like our delicate European crepes, these are made with a raising agent so they puff up. The chocolate ones are so good!
Americans love to mix sweet with savoury, so it is entirely normal to see chocolate pancakes served with bacon! I loved this! Look at this photo - blueberries with bacon and maple syrup, sounds gross but tastes scrumptious!
Waffles are fantastic when freshly made, the batter is ladeled onto a "waffle iron" which gives them their distinctive shape. Waffles are especially tasty with Nutella, which goes all melty inside the waffle pockets.
International Waffle Day is celebrated on 25th March and the US National Waffle day is 24 August!
In England we call this "Eggy Bread", but the best I have eaten has been the more elegantly named American French toast.
I think it is best when made on thick slices of fresh chalÃ© bread served with maple syrup and bacon. I did a bit of research and the dish originated from Roman times!
Eggs Cooked to Perfection!
Cooked any way you want them
Just as with the Full English Breakfast, you definitely need eggs with your All American Breakfast! The choices are fried, scrambled, poached, or an omelette. Sometimes you will see on a menu "Huevos Rancheros", which is a Mexican breakfast dish. This is comprised of fried eggs on a warm corn tortilla, smothered in hot salsa and refried beans - absolutely delicious!
Americans have many different ways of cooking their fried eggs, this got very confusing for me so I always had scrambled!
If an egg is "over", this means fried on both sides. You can have this "over cooked" (crispy), "over hard" (hard yolk), "over well" (solid yolk"), "over medium" (yolk is only just solid) or easy (yolk is runny).
Egg can also be cooked "sunny side up", which is fried on one side with a runny yolk and the white is still a little clear on the top.
Bacon, Burgers, Sausages and Ham
Meat = excellent breakfast
In the US, all bacon seems to be streaky, I never saw any back bacon anywhere. I adore the way bacon in America is cooked very crispy, English bacon tends to be cooked a little too under-done for my liking but I did miss a good rasher of back bacon. As well as bacon, you could mix it up with a few sausages, burger patty or ham. I always go for the bacon, because American sausages and ham are a bit too plastic tasting and burgers are for lunch!
Corned Beef Hash and Hash Browns
Corned beef hash- this dish is a combination of corned beef, potato, onions and seasoning. "Hash" comes from the French "hachet", meaning to cut up and traditionally meant using the leftovers from previous meals.
Corned beef hash recipes have been recorded from the 18 century, but really became popular during World War II. If you want to read more about the history of the dish, check out The Old Foodie.
Hash browns - these are a fried mixture of onion, shredded/julienne potatoes and seasoning. Hash browns are my favourite part of an All American Breakfast!
A great tip I saw on Simply Recipes is to use a potato ricer to squeeze as much moisture out of the potatoes as possible - this will make them extra crispy. I shall have to try this recipe out.
Biscuits and Gravy
For someone who is English and not seen or eaten this before, it sounds disgusting. Biscuits are what we call cookies in England, and to eat a cookie with gravy would be weird! The American biscuit is more like what the English call a scone, it is made from flour, butter, milk and a raising agent. The thick white gravy is made from sausage or bacon fat, milk or buttermilk and flour - a wonderful homage to gravy can be found on the blog of the Homesick Texan.
I Don't Understand Grits - Sloppy white stuff or nutritious loveliness?
I have tried grits once, and really didn't understand why this is such a big deal. I don't understand them! Reading this tongue in cheek blog post "The History of Grits" went some way in explaining their phenomen but I am still lost here. Are they meant to be sweet? Are they a bit like a corn version of oatmeal/porridge?
So, American people, please enlighten me on the why and the how of this mystery dish!
What's On a Plate....the Hungry Man Special
Served at Mike and Rhonda's Place, Flagstaff, AZ - so tasty!
Choice of ham, bacon or sausages
Choice of biscuits and gravy, toast or pancakes
All for less than $10!!
(the portions are monster, I had 3 biscuits on my plate and a mound of bacon enough to feed an army!)
Breakfast Burritos - Keeps you full till lunch!
I think the breakfast burrito is the American equivalent to our breakfast sandwich in England. We have fried eggs, sausages and bacon in between two slices of bread. Americans have scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, peppers, onion, beans and salsa wrapped up in a warm wheat tortilla. Of course there are variations on this, a fantastic looking recipe I found here on Epicurious.com uses chorizo sausage and potatoes instead of beans.
Breakfast burritos are popular in the South-west of America, and give a good spicy Mexican flavoured kick start to your day!
Breakfast Wouldn't Be Complete Without Coffee! Americans love coffee
Americans love coffee! I love the free re-fills too, we don't have that in the UK. Only problem is....American coffee is so weak. It just doesn't taste as good as European coffee. Also, I found it hard to get no fat milk or even just regular milk in some diners! It was cream or half and half (that is half milk and half cream), and asking for something else got me many a strange look.