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You, too, can make a successful diner-style breakfast at home

JeanMarie Brownson, Tribune Content Agency on

Breakfast at an old-fashioned diner proves one of the greatest pleasures of the weekend. We love lingering over fluffy omelets, deeply pocketed waffles and crispy bacon.

Trouble is, more often than not, the weak coffee brewed at most breakfast spots leaves me wanting. My solution? Embrace the role of diner cook at home. I drink my own brew (a dark roast drip laced with a shot of frothy espresso) while cooking for the people I love.

To make a successful diner-style breakfast with minimum stress, prep ingredients in advance. Chop and saute vegetables destined for eggs; shred cheese for toppings, par-cook bacon and sausage, mix the dry ingredients for pancakes and waffles days before the cooking begins.

For extra crispy hash browns, I shred and fully cook the potatoes two or three days before serving. Then, they just need a few quick turns in a very hot pan to restore a crisp exterior.

Breakfast sandwiches hot off the griddle differ from the weekday peanut butter on wheat toast option I bring on the commute. Rich, buttery and crispy, fill the griddle-toasted sliced bread with softly scrambled eggs, sautéed peppers, melted onions and a generous amount of cheese.

For the bread, look for rich, not-too-dense loaves that are unsliced, such as the milk bread sold at many Japanese markets. Alternatively, use thick slices labeled “Texas toast” such as the 1/2 loaf from Lewis Bake Shop. Challah, Hawaiian bread and brioche loaves make nice sandwiches, too; cut them into 1-inch thick slices.

 

Serve the sandwiches with extra crispy, bacony hash browns and some fresh fruit. Don’t forget a dark, rich, fresh cup of coffee. Or two.

Deluxe Grilled Cheese and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Makes 4 servings

1/2 each, cored: green bell pepper, red bell pepper

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