Monday, February 2, 2009

Egg McMuffins for Homeskillets

Like 10% of all Americans, I used to work at McDonalds. Like 33% of all McDonalds workers, it was the morning shift.

Everyday in the summer of 1997, I hauled my cookies in at 5am to start the percolator, fire up the grill, and lug 50 pounds of Happy Meal toys out of the sub-basement. My early morning co-workers were a sweet 72-year-old, a slightly retarded janitor, and a middle-aged woman that had no business dealing with the public. On good days, I got to take orders from the drive-through, and didn’t have to face anyone for a few hours. On bad days, entire buses of senior citizens would argue with me over the price of a 60-cent cup of coffee.

During that time, I learned the menu backwards and forwards, including basic nutritional information for most of the meals. While the Deluxe breakfast would melt your aorta, I was always pleasantly surprised at the Egg McMuffin. An egg, a muffin, a slice of Canadian bacon, and a dollop of cheese would come in around 300 calories, which still stands as one of the leanest fast food breakfasts around. Plus, they were (and are) delicious. I know. I ate one every morning for three months.

After last week’s Strata, I had a bunch of leftover Canadian bacon, and decided to give homemade Egg McMuffins a shot. Happily, it wasn’t rocket science, and ten minutes of cooking time scored me two eminently edible imitations of the real thing. Even better, no one yelled at me afterward.

So! For your McMuffining pleasure, here are step-by-step instructions for homemade Mickey D’s. Of course, there are a few things to know first:

1) If you don’t have an egg ring handy (and who does?), try a THOROUGHLY WASHED tuna can with the lids pried off. (NOTE: Don’t use a Bumblebee can. The bottom lid sticks outward, making it nearly impossible to remove. See the pics below? It took ten minutes of straight-up wrestling to create that hole. In the end, it was big enough to pour the egg through, but I almost lost a thumb in the process.)

2) For a more McDonalds-like experience, go with American Cheese. Then, have a 62-year-old retiree berate you because his coffee was too hot.

3) The muffins aren’t browned in a toaster for two reasons: A) they’re harder to hold, and B) I like ‘em better this way.

4) At $0.93 a serving, these should be cheaper than your local Mickey D’s. If not, look at it this way: you don’t have to deal with the tall girl behind the counter. You know – the one with the 1000-yard stare, whose only thought is, “Man, I can’t wait to get back to school. This nametag is making my boobs itch.”

Happy cooking!

Egg McMuffins
Makes 2 McMuffins

Cooking spray
2 English muffins, split in half
2 slices Canadian bacon
2 large eggs
1 ounce reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I prefer Cracker Barrel)
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Coat a medium non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Once pan is warm, place English muffins facedown on pan. Squish lightly with a spatula, so they get evenly browned.

2) While muffins are toasting, break one egg into a cup. Break its yolk with a fork, but DON’T beat the egg.

3) When muffins have been lightly toasted (about 3 minutes), place them on a plate and IMMEDIATELY sprinkle grated cheese on one side. This will get the melting process started.

4) Re-coat the pan with cooking spray. (Note: if you have a gas oven, do this away from the stovetop to avoid a fire.) Place the Canadian bacon in the pan. Place an egg ring OR thoroughly washed tuna can (with both lids removed) on the pan. Pour the egg into the ring. If some should leak out the bottom, no worries. You can flip it later.

5) After 2 or 3 minutes, the egg should be pretty set, so cut it out of the ring and flip it over. Then, add egg #2 to the ring. Flip the bacon while you're at it, too.

6) After another minute or so, egg #1 should be finished. Place it on top of one of the cheese-covered muffin halves, and add salt and pepper to taste. Then, add a slice of Canadian bacon and top with the other muffin half. Press down lightly with a spatula so the egg will finish melting the cheese.

7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the remaining ingredients.

8) Take a blog picture in front of a sufficient light source.

9) Serve and eat with glee.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
283 calories, 12.4 g fat, $0.93

Cooking spray: 0 calories, 0 g fat, $0.04
2 English muffins, split in half: 240 calories, 2 g fat, $0.38
2 slices Canadian bacon: 89 calories, 4 g fat, $0.79
2 large eggs: 147 calories, 9.9 g fat, $0.38
1 ounce reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated: 90 calories, 9 g fat, $0.25
Salt and pepper to taste: 0 calories, 0 g fat, $0.02
TOTAL: 566 calories, 24.9 g fat, $1.86
PER SERVING (TOTAL/2): 283 calories, 12.4 g fat, $0.93

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Liz C said...

Wow, those look so good....

swaaaan said...

Egg McMuffins are the only things I eat at mcdonald's (well the hasbrowns too). Love this recipe! Methinks I'll recreate it tomorrow morning.

Allison said...

Not only was that informative, but it was a fun read. Thanks for the instructions and the photos!

Jess said...

When I was in the early days of pregnancy, I pretty much lived on egg (mc)muffins-- after my morning nausea passed they were the one thing that would hit the spot when I was utterly ravenous. Ah, good times. Actually, with the egg muffins they weren't too bad. Thanks for reminding me about these!

Amy B said...

I used to work in a breakfast diner. I still remember the day we found a mouse in the grease trap.

Lee said...

Scramble the yolk, huh? Now I see!

Burp and Slurp~! said...

YAY! thanks for this post! I've always wondered how I can get my eggs like the ones in McMuffins without the rings!

Anonymous said...

I make these with a scrambled egg that I microwave in a small pyrex bowl for 1 minute on high. I also use light english muffins. It's a yummy and filling breakfast, and when you microwave the egg, it's fast enough to eat before work in the morning.

CJ said...

Spray a little non-stick cooking spray on a canning ring and use that for your eggs. Works great for perfect circles.

F.R. said...

You should try microwaving the eggs in a small ramikin coated with oil or butter. Takes less than a minute and works like a charm

Anonymous said...

Great narrative and very true about the McD's employee experience! :-) I worked there in high school myself.
I will use regular sliced cheese as I make a variation of this with regular turkey bacon. This sounds just as delish!
thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous that you can further simplify this by using the microwave:

Spray a small pyrex dish (think they are technically called custard cups) with cooking spray and crack an egg into it, beat it with a fork as you would for scrambled eggs, then microwave on high ~1 minute. Keep an eye on it as it will rise as it cooks.

if you microwave this way it is the perfect size for the toasted English muffin (I use the Thomas brand light with fiber). Add cheese or heated sausage as you wish. A slice of tomato is also good.

This is a staple breakfast for me.

Jeff S. said...

The picture of your mangled can-tool is hilarious.

Elizabeth said...

An easier way to cook your egg in a round shape is to put it in a cereal bowl that microwave safe, then cook for 1 minute, flip, and 1 minute on the other side. I put mine on a couple of slices of bread with a sausage patty and a slice of cheese. :)

Rumela said...

Wow!! that seems to be a great recipe.I love muffins. I will definitely bake a batch this weekend.

pouletsecret said...

Not at all traditional, but excellent with a fat slice of tomato. Also, consider replacing the "Canadian" bacon with ham, regular bacon or breakfast sausage.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad method, but unless McDonalds has changed their cooking procedures, the eggs were always steamed! So, 1) use your english muffin-sized pyrex or ramekins brushed with a little butter, 2) drop in the egg, 3) use the tip of a knife to pierce the yolk a few times, but don't scramble the whole thing, or it won't look like the real thing, 3) put the cups with the eggs into the rice bowl of an electric steamer, 4) add a little water to the rice bowl (not the egg cups!), 5)steam until done, takes me about 20 min. to steam, 6) enjoy pure breakfast sandwhich bliss! I make these up on the weekend for use the next week, all I have to do is heat them up with some precooked sausage and a toasted english muffin.

Anonymous said...

I make this egg sandwich all the time. A good suggestion if you don't have an egg ring is to use a coffee mug. I spray the inside with a little Pam and then use Egg Beaters in the microwave. Even more simplified! Also, yummy when using Skinny Cow Cheese wedges.

Anonymous said...

It may not be traditional or the McD's way, but I love my eggs over easy so when you bite into it the yoke oozes out onto the rest of the messy and so yummy

BTW this post was hilarious and your mangled can made it just that much better!

Anonymous said...

Im gonna try this right now

Sheila37209 said...

I make this sandwich all the time too. I use a microwave egg poacher for my eggs and you can't taste a difference.

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip to avoid the mangled can problem:
These days almost every can of the right size is a pull-top aluminum can which is stamp-formed and has a rounded bottom which can't be opened with a can opener. However, there seems to be one holdout for a can which is able to be opened on the top AND bottom with a can opener . . . Small cans of pineapple slices, chunks, or crushed. Both the Dole brand and my generic store brand use the old style steel can with rims on the top and bottom. They work great!