Breakfast Basics

This is part of the cooking 101 series and covers some of the basic components of a standard American breakfast. If you are new to cooking these are great “recipes” for several reasons:

  • They have very few ingredients
  • They take very little time to prepare
  • They are inexpensive
  • They work for lunch and dinner too

As the picture implies we’re going to cover bacon, fried potatoes and eggs (scrambled and fried). We’ll start with bacon because it can be cooked ahead and we will use some of the bacon drippings to fry the potatoes (always save your bacon grease!). There is only one ingredient – bacon.

  1. Grab your largest frying or saute pan. You want it to be large enough that the bacon can lie flat and not be on top of other pieces of bacon.
  2. Pre-heat your pan on medium to medium high heat for a minute or two. Add bacon one strip at time. They can be close together, but don’t let them overlap.
  3. After about one minute flip all the pieces over. Be careful, bacon grease tends to pop and spatter. It does not feel good to get hot grease on your skin.
  4. Keep flipping the bacon about once a minute. This is the secret to good crisp, evenly brown bacon. It must be turned frequently.
  5. It takes about 6-8 minutes to completely cook most bacon (very thick bacon may take longer). The bacon is done when all pink is gone. It will also shrink about 20-30% in size as the water cooks out.
  6. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel to cool, but save the grease in the pan you will need some of it to fry the potatoes. Turn the burner off.
  7. Kitchen Safety Note: Any time you are cooking something with lots of oil or grease you should keep a lid handy that fits your pan. If disaster strikes and your pan catches fire it can be quickly extinguished by covering it with a lid. DO NOT throw water or other liquids on a grease fire, it will simply spread the fire as the grease splashes.

Fried Potatoes. Ingredients here are pretty simple again: Potatoes, seasoning salt, 2 TBSP of oil or bacon grease.

  1. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch size pieces.
  2. Heat 2 TBSP of oil in a large saute pan or skillet on medium high heat. I like to use the same pan I just used to fry the bacon. Remove all but 2 TBSP of the bacon grease and just keep going.
  3. Add the potatoes to the pan and spread them out evenly in the pan. Sprinkle generously with season salt. If you don’t have season salt you can use salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  4. Let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes – You will be tempted to stir them, poke them, prod them – don’t. Leave them be for 5 minutes.
  1. Use a spatula to turn the potatoes. Hit them with a generous sprinkle of seasoning salt again. Leave them alone for another 5 minutes.
  2. Use the spatula to turn them a second time. Leave them sit another 3-5 minutes.
  3. Turn the potatoes a third time with the spatula. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let them simmer for 5-10 minutes until they are tender and a fork can easily go through a large piece. If you want to add some excitement you can add some diced onions and/or peppers at this point, just be sure to stir everything a couple of times while the potatoes are finishing.

Now lets finish off with some eggs! Eggs cook fast, I usually start mine when I put the lid on the potatoes. Then everything is done at the same time and everyone gets a nice how breakfast. The ingredients are – eggs, 1 tsp oil or spray oil, salt/pepper to taste.

  1. Lightly scramble your eggs with a fork.
  2. Heat a skillet with a small amount of oil over medium-low heat
  3. Add the eggs to the skillet. In about 30 seconds you will see they start to opaque. Use a small spatula to push the cooked eggs to one side of the skillet.
  1. Every 30 seconds or so use the spatula to gently turn the eggs over and spread them out. The eggs are done when they no longer look “wet”.

If you prefer a fried egg simply crack the egg in a hot skillet. When the white part is completely opaque flip it over with a spatula and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Over easy fried eggs

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Related topics: How to cook bacon, how to cook eggs, how to cook potatoes, how to cook breakfast, how to make bacon, how to make eggs, how to make breakfast, learning to cook, beginner cook.

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