Breakfast looks different in just about every home around the world.
Porridge with toast. Toast with jam. Jammy eggs, egg tacos and egg cups. Streaky bacon, Canadian bacon, pork chops. Tempeh crumbles and baked beans.
Two new cookbooks offer some twists on old favorites, one a classic from New York City and another a traditional Egyptian breakfast that pairs flatbread and fava beans.
Kelly Senyei's latest cookbook, "The Secret Ingredient Cookbook: 125 Family-Friendly Recipes with Surprisingly Tasty Twists," includes her portable baked bacon-and-egg cups that she says were inspired by her love of New York City's breakfast bagels. Instead of using a bagel, Senyei thaws a few sheets of puff pastry, which act as the baking vessel for the egg, sour cream and cheese mixture.
Canadian-Egyptian chef and television host Shahir Massoud shares recipes for street foods and casual everyday staples in his new book, "Eat, Habibi, Eat!: Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking," including his grandfather's favorite breakfast - stewed fava beans called ful mudammas that are often served with flatbread - with Massoud's touch: a fried egg.
Breakfast is a meal that we often eat on autopilot, for obvious reasons. If we're trying to get out of the house on time, making a fancy breakfast isn't feasible, but if you have a little bit of extra time and inclination, these breakfasts can be a fun way to put the autopilot on pause and travel to another food lover's proverbial kitchen.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Toast Cups
I lived in New York City for six years before moving back home to Southern California, and there's one thing I miss more than anything else the bustling city has to offer: a good ol' bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Most often served on a bagel, the B.E.C. (as the cool kids call it) was my morning commute staple. I've traded the bagel for puff pastry and turned the trifecta into brunch-worthy (and seriously party-friendly) bites, with sour cream lending a touch of creaminess and tanginess. Whip up a dozen of these easy, cheesy cups in less time than it takes to catch the 6 train.
- Kelly Senyei
• 12 slices uncooked bacon
• All-purpose flour, for dusting work surface
• 1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
• 8 large eggs
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Cook the bacon in two large skillets set over medium-low heat, draining the grease as needed, until it is almost fully cooked but still pliable. Set the bacon aside.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly flour your work surface, then unfold each sheet of puff pastry and cut into nine squares each.
Add a puff pastry square to each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides so the edges hang over the sides of each cup. (You will have six extra squares, which can be refrozen.) Place a slice of cooked bacon inside each cup so that the ends stick out of the cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sour cream, salt, and pepper. Divide the cheese among the muffin cups, then pour the egg mixture atop the cheese, filling each cup three-fourths full.
Bake the egg cups for 18 to 22 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the eggs are cooked through.
Remove the egg cups from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes before using a knife to loosen them around the edges. Sprinkle the cups with the chives and serve. Makes 12.
- From "The Secret Ingredient Cookbook: 125 Family-Friendly Recipes with Surprisingly Tasty Twists" by Kelly Senyei (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30)
Gibo Habib's Full Breakfast
My maternal grandfather was a great man - a dedicated husband, father and physician - who held fast to his Egyptian roots, starting with breakfast. Every morning of his adult life started with ful mudammas. These cooked fava beans are standard fuel for many Egyptians, often paired simply with bread. When I thought about tweaking this recipe to use a different bean and asked my mom for her opinion, her response was clear and emphatic. "Nooo!" she bellowed. "You can never change the fava bean in this recipe. The Egyptian people will never forgive you!" When your mother suggests that 100 million people will hate you, you shut up and do as you're told. You can use homemade or store-bought flatbread in this recipe.
- Shahir Massoud
For the beans:
• 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
• 1/2 red onion, finely diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1 teaspoon plus a pinch salt, divided
• 3 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 (15-ounce) can fava beans, drained and rinsed
• 1/2 cup tahini
• 1/2 cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
For the flatbread:
• 6 slices flatbread
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 6 eggs
• Pinch salt
• 1 red onion, sliced
• 1 teaspoon chili flakes
• 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
• 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
To make the beans, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, cooking to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cumin and the beans, along with the rest of the olive oil. Cook, breaking up the beans with a wooden spoon, for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl, then mix in the tahini, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Season with the remaining teaspoon of salt.
To make the flatbreads, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush each flatbread with some olive oil, then spread some of the full mixture on each piece. Place directly on a baking sheet and bake for 7 to 9 minutes until the bread browns nicely.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat and crack in the eggs. Fry until the whites set and the yolks are still runny. Season with a pinch of salt.
Remove the flatbreads from the oven and top with the sliced red onion. Place the eggs on top, then finish with a pinch of chili flakes and the parsley and cilantro. Serves 6.
- From "Eat, Habibi, Eat!: Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking" by Shahir Massoud (Random House, $30)