22 July 2012

Pacific Northwest Breakfast Toasts

Every once in a while, the hubs and I just need a little taste of home to start our day.  A warm and savory meal that fills our heart in addition to our tummy.  Everyone has a food or two that evoke fond memories and whisk you away to another place.  For some that is biscuits and gravy, bagels & cream cheese, waffles with maple syrup or sausage with applesauce.  For the hubs and myself, it is this delicious little open-faced delight.  

I've gone on plenty about the splendor of Pacific Salmon, but I do not believe I have been kind enough to introduce you to Tillamook cheese.  Their sharp cheddar is the cheese I grew up with.  We would eat it with apples, on top of pie and of course by itself.  This Oregon based cheese is amazing - pungent, sharp and insanely good melted on anything.  So any time we find ourselves in possession of both salmon and Tillamook cheddar, this breakfast sandwich emerges.  

Tillamook is not easy to find here, but the glorious cheese counter at our neighborhood market had some this past week.  (Bless their dairy-loving hearts.)  And GASP!  Sockeye salmon at $7.99 a pound?!  That is unheard of out here!  Gorgeous, red fish just begging to be grilled and eaten.  We've gone through a pound in a half in two days.  Hmmm.....looks like we'll have to get more.....

This is a great way to use up the last few pieces of a large salmon fillet.  Whenever we have salmon for dinner, we're sure to save a bit to throw in scrambles or on toast for breakfast.  Nothing like those little time savers in the morning to great breakfast to you that much faster!  

Now you might be thinking, "Salmon and cheddar cheese....seriously?"  Seriously.  Not the most common pairing, but amazing in our books.  Add a bit of buttery avocado and a poached egg, and we're in breakfast heaven.  Big flavors and very little work.  

I look at that yolk and my heart melts.  No need for any type of sauce here, folks.  Just a few of our favorite flavors of home, piled up into a little mountain of morning goodness.  

Pacific Northwest Breakfast Toasts (serves 2)
  • 2 whole wheat English Muffins
  • 4 oz Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (or other good cheddar)
  • 4 oz cooked salmon 
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 eggs 
  • salt & pepper
To poach your eggs, fill a large shallow pan with 2 inches of water.  Add a few glugs of white vinegar (maybe 1/4 cup) and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.  Crack an egg into a small, shallow bowl such as a ramekin or pyrex dish.  Hold the bowl by the lip and slowly submerge into the water, gently tipping out the egg.  Add remaining eggs in the same way and poach for 3-4 minutes, until whites are solid.

While eggs are poaching, prep the other ingredients.  Toast your English muffins, slice the cheese and mash the avocado in a small bowl with the lemon juice.  Reheat the cooked salmon in the microwave until warm.

To assemble, top each English muffin half with sliced cheese, mashed avocado and salmon.  Top each with a poached egg.  Season with salt and pepper and eat up!

*Poaching Tip* - When removing my eggs from the pan, I first transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to remove extra water before adding to the dish.

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