Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches

Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches | Cravings & Crumbs

With Valentine’s Day coming up you may be on the lookout for the perfect date night.  Dinner is great and all, but if your date happens to run over to the next morning these cheddar stuffed breakfast sandwiches are definitely what you need to be making for your sweetie.

Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches | Cravings & Crumbs

Look, I’m not suggesting you invite your date to stay the night just so you can effortlessly whip these up in the morning and look like a magical god/goddess who can do anything, but if you just happen to spend the night with them and make these in the morning they’re definitely going to appreciate you all the more.  And for those of you in long-term relationships and those who live together, never underestimate the power of a novel act of love.  Especially when it involves melty cheddar cheese.  You have to keep things interesting, and yes, I am suggesting you keep the spark alive with cheddar stuffed breakfast sandwiches.  I have my  priorities straight.

Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches | Cravings & Crumbs

These are essentially a classic breakfast sandwich with a twist.  Based off the famous Juicy Lucy burger, we stuff the cheddar inside the breakfast sausage instead of melting it on top.  When you bite into it the cheese oozes out and honestly just makes me happy to be alive that I can enjoy little pleasures like these.  I stuffed these with sharp cheddar, but you could certainly stuff them with any cheese you like.  If you want them extra melty go for classic American cheese, but I found regular cheddar to be just fine.  I got pretty precise with the sausage measurements.  I didn’t want this to be too bulky so I experimented until I found the perfect amount for a thin layer on each side of the cheese, but with still enough bulk to keep the cheese in.  If while cooking you realize there’s a hole and cheese is oozing out, don’t worry, it will still be delicious!

Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches | Cravings & Crumbs

As for the eggs, cook them any way you like, but I highly suggest a runny yolk.  It just adds that extra bit of moisture and richness that brings the sandwich over the top.  All together, the light toasted English muffin gives way to a rich yolk, sausage, melty cheddar, and a bit of green onion for freshness.  This, my friends, is a very special breakfast sandwich that is best shared with a very special person.

Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches | Cravings & Crumbs

Cheddar Stuffed Breakfast Sandwiches
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Ingredients
  1. 120 g. breakfast sausage (4.25 oz. or a little more than ¼ lb)
  2. 24 g. cheddar cheese, sliced thinly or grated
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 english muffins
  5. 1 green onion, sliced
Instructions
  1. Divide sausage into four roughly equal portions and pat out into four patties the size of your english muffins. Add half the cheese to one patty, leaving a small border, then top with another patty. Press the edges gently to seal, then press either between your hands or between two sheets of plastic to make the whole patty even thinner and slightly larger in diameter than the english muffin. We do this because when we cook them the meat will contract and our patties will end up the same size as the muffins instead of smaller. Repeat with the other two patties and remaining cheese.
  2. Split the english muffins in half and toast lightly.
  3. Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat , spray lightly with nonstick spray, and add the patties. Cook, flipping halfway through, for about 8 minutes, until sausage is fully cooked.
  4. Remove the patties and place each on the bottom on the english muffins. Sprinkle each with green onions.
  5. Cook eggs how you like them, add to sandwiches and top with the english muffin tops.
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Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche

Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche | Cravings & Crumbs

A year ago I put this blog live.  I had no idea what I was doing (still barely do) – all I knew was that I had been thinking about a food blog for long enough that I needed to just do it.  2017 threw me for a loop, but luckily this little blog kept me motivated and my mind occupied, making it the most personally gratifying year despite the hardships.  I spent almost every weekend dreaming up recipes, testing, and photographing them.  I took a photography class and upgraded my camera.  Best of all, I ate so much good food with the people closest to me and honestly, that’s really the point of it for me.  

Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche | Cravings & Crumbs

The only reason I know how to cook is because my dad cooked a meal from scratch seven days a week.  The other day my mom asked my brother and I why we like to cook and the answer was simple.  The only time we went to restaurants was when we were travelling, so if I wanted anything different I had to figure out how to make it myself.  If I had an idea they would help me find a recipe, shop for the ingredients, and cook it.  My mindset was fixed early that good food was easy to make and more gratifying than going out.  My brother agreed, cooking is just what we did as a family.  It’s fun for us and cooking together has become a treat as we’ve gone off and formed our own styles.  

Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche | Cravings & Crumbs

So, with my family life revolving around cooking, it was a no brainer that for my one-year anniversary I wanted to collaborate on a dish with my brother.  See, he’s a professional chef and knows everything from soul food to vegan eats.  We’re constantly bouncing ideas off of each other and telling each other about the new recipes we come up with.  

Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche | Cravings & Crumbs

There’s one recipe of his that I am always so happy when he makes and that’s his fried chicken.  His recipe is pretty classic – if there’s one dish that doesn’t need to be reinvented it’s fried chicken.  He starts with a buttermilk brine for flavor and to tenderize the meat.  Then he dredges the chicken in well seasoned flour, making sure to press the meat all around so that the coating is thick and crunchy.

Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche | Cravings & Crumbs

Where we threw our spin on this was in the accompaniments.  When I asked my brother to make fried chicken with me he suggested pairing it with savory waffles and a maple creme fraiche.  That was all I needed to hear!  My only suggestion was that we make the waffles yeasted because I love the depth of flavor and texture you get out of letting the batter rest overnight.  With a little bit of cornmeal in the batter, we end up with a waffle that’s crispy on the outside, light and very moist on the inside.  

Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Chive Waffles with Maple Creme Fraiche | Cravings & Crumbs

Each component is so complexly flavored that they can stand on their own, but all together the flavor combination is incredible.  The chicken is crunchy, salty, juicy, with a touch of spice.  The waffles are crisp, yet tender, with a deep flavor from the overnight rest, chives and black pepper.  Finally, the maple creme fraiche is sweet and cooling with a slight tang.  All together, this is quite a bit of work, but making them with a partner makes easy work.  I’m sure even those who don’t like to cook much will be willing to help out if this is their reward.

Here’s to cooking new dishes and eating more good food with those that we love in the new year!

Dustin's Fried Chicken with Maple Creme Fraiche
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in half lengthwise
  2. 2 c. buttermilk
  3. 1 t. fresh thyme, finely chopped
  4. 1 T. Tony Cachere’s original creole seasoning
  5. 2 T. Crystal hot sauce
  6. Neutral oil for frying
  7. 4 c. all-purpose flour
  8. 4 T. kosher salt
  9. 2 T. black pepper
  10. 2 t. cayenne pepper
  11. 7.5 oz. creme fraiche
  12. ½ c. maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Mix the buttermilk, thyme, creole seasoning, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add chicken, turning to coat and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes, and up to one day. The longer you marinate, the juicier and more tender the chicken will be, but don’t let it go beyond a day or else the texture will start to go downhill.
  2. Begin heating oil to 375° F in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. The amount of oil will depend on your pot, but you want the oil to come up the sides at least 2”.
  3. Stir together creme fraiche and maple syrup in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In another large bowl combine the flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the flour. Don’t worry about letting any excess marinade drip off - we want the extra marinade drips in the flour to help build crunchy pieces. Stir and smoosh the chicken around in the flour to completely coat all the pieces and let sit for about 10 mins to help the flour adhere to the chicken.
  5. Once oil is at 375° F, drop in 2-3 pieces of chicken. (When you drop in the chicken the oil should cool down to around 350° F.) Fry for about 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Serve with overnight cornmeal and chive waffles, a drizzle of maple creme fraiche, and extra hot sauce if desired.
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/
Overnight Cornmeal and Chive Waffles
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ t. active dry yeast
  2. ½ c. warm water
  3. ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
  4. 2 c. milk, lukewarm
  5. 3 c. all-purpose flour
  6. ½ c. cornmeal
  7. 1 ½ t. granulated sugar
  8. 1 t. kosher salt
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. ½ t. baking soda
  11. 4 ½ t. minced chives
  12. 1 t. freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pour warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes, in which time the yeast should begin to foam.
  2. Add the melted butter, milk, flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt and whisk thoroughly until the batter is smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit out at room temperature overnight, or at least 8 hours. Make sure the bowl is at least double the size of the batter as it will grow quite a bit.
  3. When you’re ready to make your waffles begin by preheating your waffle iron. The temperature that you preheat it to will depend in your iron, but I set mine to medium-high.
  4. Add eggs and baking soda to the batter and either whisk well of use an immersion blender to make sure everything is completely smooth and combined. Add chives and pepper and stir with a spoon.
  5. Cook according to the directions for your waffle maker, or however you normally make waffles. For me, this meant I put my waffle iron on medium high and cooked with a light spray of nonstick spray until the waffles were very well browned, 4-5 mins. This yielded a crispy waffle, so cook for less time if you prefer a softer waffle.
Notes
  1. A tip for the milk - you don’t want it hot, just warm enough that it won’t shock the butter when you mix them together. I did this by microwaving the milk in 30 second intervals until it was slightly warm to the touch.
  2. Makes 10-12 4”x5” waffle squares in my belgian waffle maker.
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/

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Apple Bacon Dutch Baby

Apple Bacon Dutch Baby | Cravings & Crumbs

Here in the Bay Area we don’t get seasons in the same way everyone else does.  When others are enjoying shorts and sunshine in July we’re wearing sweaters and long sleeves.  And when everybody else is enjoying their first hot pumpkin spice lattes of the season I’m making this dutch baby in 75 degree weather with no cold weather in sight.  The thing about this dutch baby is, I’m sure it would be delicious on a chilly fall morning eaten leisurely with a hot cup of coffee and something good to read, but it was just as good eaten at 2 pm in my living room after my photoshoot with the ceiling fan on.  It’s that good. Read More

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