Have you ever wanted a breakfast sandwich that was ooey and gooey and eggy and cheesy and greasy but also, kinda healthy? Something that felt like you were being bad, but also wouldn't set your day back 1,000 calories? Yeah, me too.
I introduce to you, the actually caramelized onion breakfast sandwich.
Contrary to popular belief, caramelized onions are not those half translucent, still-crunchy objects that are considered caramelized onions by most recipes. Nor are they the super sweet, gloopy things that you find on a barbecued chicken sandwich at your local bodega. I'm talking slow simmered, balsamic marinated onions that get all their oniony flavor super concentrated and magnified and burst out into your tastebuds with every bite.
Sound good enough to replace your bacon? I thought so.
Caramelized Onion Breakfast Sammies
makes: 4 sandwiches
- 3 sweet white onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 8 slices fresh, crusty bread
- 8 slices extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs
- salt & pepper
Make the Caramelized Onions (can be done up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated)
- Heat oil and butter over a medium high heat until the butter stops foaming. Meanwhile, chop the onion. Remove the outer skin and then place it with one stem down on the chopping board. Cut in half. Turn the onion so the cut side is down on the chopping board and the rounded edge is facing you. Cut the onion length wise so that you end up with long half moon rings. Confused? same. - check it out here and follow the instructions to cut rings.
- Add the onion rings to the saute pan and toss to coat with the oil and butter. Once the onions are sizzling, turn the heat to low and cover for 5 - 10 minutes. This allows the onions to infuse with their own juices, and mitigates the need for too much oil.
- Remove the cover then cook on low and slow until the onions are very soft and brown, about 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more oil if they stick to the pan.
- Once the onions have started to brown on their own and are leaving crispy bits in the pan, add the balsamic and bring the heat back up to medium. Cook until the balsamic is completely absorbed into the onions. Taste one or two- are they soft and delicious? Yes? Stop cooking. Are they crunchy or not sweet enough? Keep cooking on low and slow until they are perfect.
Assemble the Sammies:
- Turn oven to 350 degrees F. Add slices of bread to oven to toast, and meanwhile bring a large non stick skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once the foaming of the butter subsides, add all 4 eggs if your skillet is large enough (otherwise do two batches). Once the whites have set, pierce the yolk and add the slices of cheese on top. Place a cover over the skillet and cook until the cheese is completely melted.
- Remove toast from oven, add caramelized onions and top with egg and cheese. Add second piece of toast. Cut down the center and serve.