Want to go Large?

April 24, 2023

I was talking the other day with someone and they commented on the wait for a breakfast from a fast food chain. I replied with I dont recall the last time I went to such a chain. This is probably due to us not having such places in our vicinity. During another conversation I mentioned that I have found my experiences in Italian restaurants to be disappointing as most dishes I can make and to be honest, make better at home. Most people have mastered the Bolognese and customising a cheap pizza in order to make something exquisite is ‘child’s play’.

Returning to the aforesaid conversation regarding breakfast; I do enjoy a breakfast sandwich the kind served in an English muffin or a bagel. I set about making my ultimate breakfast fast food homage.

Firstly let’s deconstruct the sandwich. Usually bread is either bagel or muffin as stated. The contents come with either bacon, sausage patty, egg, or a combination of these, and a slice of processed cheese. As a meal deal a hot beverage is served and the addition of a hash brown.

The key to my fast food breakfast is cooking ahead of time. Part or full cooking means ready food. Unless you cook you have no idea how long a dish takes. One doesn’t enter a restaurant and order a ‘well done’ steak (whilst waiting for a train) without knowing the differing cooking times for said meat. Factor in the accompaniment – chips, boiled potatoes or even rice, and all these add time to the service.

If we rename fast food as warm leftovers, the idea starts to wane. It’s not that long ago there was outcry when the media shared the news that a bakery chain was using frozen dough to make bread which had been prepared a year in advance. Chemically there was nothing wrong with this – the concept was the issue. Similarly if you want ‘fresh’ bread then you cannot realistically ask for a sliced loaf. Bread baked at midnight will be suitable for slicing as the store opens. Thus is it ‘fresh’?

Back to my breakfast bagel. I air fried at 200C for 20 minutes a hash brown. In the second drawer I placed a sausage patty and a slice of smoked back bacon for 8 minutes at 180C. I warmed on the hob a single egg pan lined with 1cal oil before whisking the egg. Next I prepared the bagels – these were sesame white and I set the toaster to 2½ minutes. Next I prepared the processed cheese.

When the bagel was ready I placed it on my work surface to cool slightly waiting for the rest of my ingredients.

When the air fryer had finished I carefully laid each piece to cool as I alternated between air fryer, assembly point and hob.

To the bagel base I placed the hash brown. Next I layered the cheese, followed by the patty, the bacon, and finally my omelette. Last I spread sauce over the toasted side of the bagel roof.

Using grease proof paper (I have sheets similar to what fast food restaurants use but ordinary greasy works superbly), I made up the parcels and refrigerated over night.

At breakfast I microwaved the parcels in an 800w oven for 60 seconds, serving with fresh ground coffee.

I just went online and found a similar breakfast at McDonalds for £6.79. Let’s see what my “Breakfast Stack” cost.

The shopping List

  • Aldi sesame bagel (5) £1.09
  • Aldi cheese slices (8) £1.09
  • Aldi McD style Hash browns (10) £1.55
  • Asda Breakfast sausage (4) £1.70
  • Aldi Smoked bacon (8) £1.55
  • Farm eggs (30) £5
  • Carm Coffee Co (kg) £15

The Breakdown

  • Bagel 22p
  • Cheese 14p
  • Hash brown 16p
  • Sausage 43p
  • Bacon 19p
  • Egg 17p
  • Ground coffee 1p
  • Sauce 1p

Total £1.33


Ok there are no fuel costs added nor labour nor rent/rates etc. However it wasn’t an experiment in home economics but merely a demonstration of how we can have that elusive feel good fast food experience at home, tasting better, quicker service and not having to queue or stress whilst eating on a journey.

In times of balancing between spending money and eating well, homemade remains the best option for taste, ease and cost.


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