A Full Breakfast

Say you want to feel full on a skinflint budget, one as frugal as mine. It’s no easy task. Fortunately, however, with some skill in the kitchen, it is possible — and even delicious.

The Brits call this a variety of names, including the “full breakfast,” the “fry-up,” and the “all-day breakfast.” While the base is fairly simple — a starch, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, sausage, eggs, savory puddings, baked beans, and more, all fried on a skillet — it comes alive when properly done.

 A Proper Fry-Up, American-Style

  • 1 can baked beans
  • Half a box breakfast links
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 box grape tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large roll, or 3 slices bread
  • Salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

Simmer the beans in a saucepan over low heat. In large skillet, brown the sausages.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes and mushrooms. Halve the tomatoes, split the mushroom caps from their stems, and quarter the caps.

When the sausages are done, add them to the beans. (They’ll go cold otherwise.) Add the veggies to the skillet, and add the salt, pickle juice, mustard, honey, and other seasonings to them. Toss. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter. Season and fry the eggs sunny-side up.

To serve, use a deep plate. Plate the tomato-mushroom jawn in the middle; if you elect to pan-fry your bread, do so now. Serve the sausages on one side of the mushroom strip and the eggs right below them; the beans (use about a cup) go on the other side. Place the toast at the top, and serve with (iced) tea.

The sauces from the baked beans and the tomato-mushroom fry intermingle with the egg yolks to create a rich, full-bodied bottom-of-plate sauce that you sop up with your bread — one of the great treats of this dish.

Needless to say, if you have bacon, white or black pudding, oatcakes, Welsh cakes, a hash or hash brown, or any of a plethora of other things available, use it in this recipe. It’s eminently flexible that way.

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