It ain't Wheaties. In my life, usually, breakfast happens, if at all, in the lunchroom at work. It is most often a piece of something toasted and a cup of our "coffee club's" semi-nasty coffee. It is a great treat to go out for breakfast, to have wonderful plate sized, thin, lacy-edged pancakes at Pamela's, or diner eggs with some home-fried potatoes and rye toast-and to let someone else clean up the greasy mess, while I go home to doze off over the sunday paper. I don't do that too often, for obvious reasons.
If a person wants to stay home, yet indulge in a wicked weekend breakfast, it is easy to get some nice pastries. This too requires no cleanup- an important factor. No one wants to spend a weekend morning dealing with greasy frying pans. Thus, any special breakfast I might consider making has to be as simple, or near as makes no difference, as the easy alternatives. Eggy pans are tolerable after supper, but not on a morning loaded with better possibilities.I like granola-ish cereal with fruit, too-but in the evening, not for breakfast. I know that's odd.
However, I have for you two excellent breakfasts which meet the requirement of simplicity, but are, in my view, worthy of serving to guests in lieu of pastries. Both should be accompanied by really good and scaldingly hot coffee, of the sort best made in a Bialetti type pot.
The first of these breakfasts is the classic mushrooms on toast.* Beautiful seasonal wild mushrooms take this item to another level, but it is just great with plain, cultivated mushrooms, too. You saute lots of mushrooms for each person in a little bit of butter and a pinch of minced garlic, add salt, pepper and one herb-preferably fresh tarragon or rosemary, and pour it all over a nice piece of toast, butter and all. Serve with a knife and fork. This is just plain glamourous.
The second simple breakfast is best in summer, when you have lots of extra ripe tomatoes, and are having trouble using them all up. You preheat your oven to 350F, and hollow out some of those tomatoes. Put each shell in a lightly buttered little dish, with a tiny bit of butter and some fresh tarragon, or Herbes de Provence in the bottom of each tomato. Break an egg into each, and top with a little sliver of butter, salt, pepper and another pinch of the herb. Put these guys on a cookie sheet, and bake until the whites are just firm, but the yolks still runny. This takes 30 minutes in my slow oven- but keep a close eye until you know how long it takes in yours. It's nowhere near as good once the yolks solidify.This is really yummy served with very hot coffee and toasted pitas. Almost everyone likes both of these breakfasts-although there are some children and a few adults who don't care for fungi. More for me.
Both breakfasts are alchemically good, taste more complex than you would guess, and demand slow eating and savoring. And just a couple of dishes to wash. They are not even bad for you. BTW, Isn't my little mini le creuset casserole a cutie? I couldn't resist it on sale. They just had one though. Having a blog gives a person a reason to buy little one-off goodies like this.
*I apologize for the title. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this name for mushrooms on toast. Sometimes the obnoxious punster within just won't stand down.