I wanted a cooked breakfast last Saturday but I lacked inspiration. Then I spotted English muffins in the freezer and a red onion on the bench and I knew exactly what to do.
Recipe #26: Breakfast Pizzas. Serves 2. As with most of my food, these are supersimple and very ridiculously delicious.
All you need:
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 large red onion, sliced into rings [or 2-3 small ones – the small ones are generally sweeter]
• 1 pinch salt
• ½ glass sparkling wine, for cooking [I used Yellowglen Pink]
• 2 glasses sparkling wine, for drinking [ditto]
• 2 tbsp sugar [possibly even more if you prefer; I use caster sugar for its ready solubility]
• 2 English muffins (split into halves)
• 4 tsp tomato paste
• ~1 cup grated or shaved cheese [I used tasty, as that was in our fridge. Anything would work – I would do this with pecorino next time]
• 4 eggs
• salt & white vinegar (for the poaching water)
To caramelise the onions, place oil in a small frying pan and heat to medium. Lay the onion rings over the bottom of the pan with the salt and some pepper and place a lid over the pan. If there is a lot of sizzle, reduce the heat – you want to sweat rather than brown the onions at this stage. Stir occasionally [while you’re doing this, you can prepare the pizza bases].Add the sparkling wine after the onions start to turn clear and replace the lid. Once the onions have released a bit of moisture and are translucent, sprinkle over the sugar. The sugar should dissolve and bubble. Now you can cook with the lid off, stirring more frequently to ensure that the onions are evenly coated and browned. Once cooked, cover the pan and place to one side.
[Of course, if you want a really cheaty version, you could skip the caramelisation altogether and buy a jar of pre-made onion jam…]
For the pizza bases, lightly toast the muffin halves in a toaster [you don’t want them to be too brown] then place on a baking tray. Spread the tomato paste over the muffins, sprinkle over the cheese and cook in a 200°C oven for 10-15 minutes (until the cheese starts to bubble and brown).
Finally, while the muffins are in the oven and the onions are stickifying [yes, another technical term], you can poach the eggs. I was going to walk you through how I poach eggs, then I found the same technique that I use detailed on Abstract Gourmet [thanks, Matt!], except that I add a good pinch of salt to the water.
Once the eggs are cooked, drain them well then place on top of the cheesy pizza bases (which should now be on serving plates!). Add a heaped teaspoonful of the caramelised onion and serve.
You could add chopped herbs and garlic to the tomato paste base, or maybe give the egg a bed of shaved prosciutto to rest upon. I just loved the simplicity of this version, which I served with a glass of Australian sparkling.
Despite their less-than-perfect appearance, my eggs were cooked just right.