Birthday breakfast help
November 29, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm want to cook my husband a special 30th birthday breakfast. The snag, I can't cook. Help.

My husband is turning 30 and 'doesn't want a fuss'. Therefore we are having a few close friends over during the day for present unwrapping and a nice catch up. However, I can't let this day pass without doing something, so I want to cook him breakfast in bed.

We've chatted about this and he would like to eat some sausages, bacon and fried tomato. I understand the basics, use frying pan, add some sort of fat, apply heat but that is really the limit of my knowledge.

I need help with the finer points: What fat to use? All in one pan or not? Anything else I should add in? Any special tips?

I plan to get some ground coffee and use his 'on the hob' two-part metal thingy to make him a nice coffee too.

Note: he is allergic to eggs, nuts and seeds.
posted by Nufkin to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Youtube is your friend. There are countless thousands of videos where people cook simple things from beginning to end. Just use the keywords: how to cook sausage (or whatever).
posted by coolguymichael at 10:58 AM on November 29, 2011

There were a Ask question a few weeks ago about how to cook a traditional English breakfast (similar to what you're planning), including step-by-step instructions.
posted by theclaw at 11:00 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

There was a previous whole post about UK fry-ups with lots of tips including timing. Hopefully someone with a better phone and more time than me can find and link!
posted by bquarters at 11:00 AM on November 29, 2011

posted by bquarters at 11:02 AM on November 29, 2011

What fat to use? All in one pan or not?

Sausage and bacon usually produce their own fat (sausage sometimes you have to poke with a fork to release it). The bacon should leave enough fat (in fact, you'll probably have to drain it) to fry the tomatoes. I would just focus on finding high quality ingredients, this should be a pretty forgiving combo of things to cook. Maybe just have enough of each so that if something goes wrong you can start over?
posted by advil at 11:03 AM on November 29, 2011

Ah. Thank you. As this wasn't a 'traditional' breakfast I wasn't sure that it would apply.
posted by Nufkin at 11:03 AM on November 29, 2011


Cooking bacon

Cooking sausage.

Fried tomato

Re which fat, bacon and sausage in the pan produce their own. (You can spray a little oil on but not necessary.) For the tomatoes, butter will always work.
posted by bearwife at 11:04 AM on November 29, 2011

*pulls up chair and sits down*

Start with the bacon. Bacon renders (meaning, "melts out") a lot of fat while it cooks, and anything fried in bacon fat is made that much more delicious. So yes, you could cook everything in one pan.

If you start with the bacon -- a few strips in the pan by themselves at first -- that will let some of the fat render out, and the bacon will shrink up while it cooks (cool! Culinary Shrinky Dinks!) and make room in the pan for everything else. So start with the bacon. I start with it in a cold pan (put the pan on the stove, the bacon in the pan, and THEN turn on the heat).

A couple minutes after the bacon starts sizzling, flip the strips over, and then put the sausage in. Poke the sausages a couple times with a fork. Leave things alone for a couple minutes, but ONLY a couple minutes -- long enough to slice up the tomato. Leave the tomato on the side for now. Also, put a couple paper towels on a plate -- you'll get to them in a minute.

Go back to the pan. Flip the bacon over again, and roll the sausages around a little. Keep an eye on the bacon and sausages now -- flip the bacon over every minute or so, and roll the sausage around when you do. What you want is to keep an eye on the bacon and sausage, to make sure the bacon doesn't get too "done" and so that the sausage is browned on all sides.

The tricky thing about bacon is: it cooks a tiny bit longer after you take it out of the pan. So at the point at which you're thinking "hmmm, maybe a couple seconds more?", that is when it's done. (Not that they should look raw: it should look ALMOST done.) Take the bacon out of the pan, and lay it on those paper towels on that plate (thought I forgot that, didn't you?).

The sausages should need a little longer; so keep cooking them. Put the tomato slices in; after a minutes flip the tomato slices over. They should only need a minute on each side. Take them out and put them on another plate.

Take the sausages out of the pan when they're browned all the way around on the outside, and if you cut into one of them it's cooked all the way through. You are done.

One thing you can add to this is mushrooms -- maybe a couple of big portobello mushroom caps, which you cook exactly the same way as you cook the tomato, and for about the same length of time (maybe a bit longer). But other than that, I wouldn't add much (except eggs, which you said your husband's allergic to). Instead, maybe splurge on getting really good bacon and sausage. Or do some toast on the side with fancy-ass jam.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:10 AM on November 29, 2011 [15 favorites]

Potatoes (diced, shredded, whatever) fried in bacon fat would be delicious. Look in the grocery freezer section. Be careful putting frozen potatoes into hot fat, though; it has a tendency to spatter.
posted by tully_monster at 11:17 AM on November 29, 2011

Just a thought, but you could serve it to him naked and it probably wouldn't matter how it were cooked.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:28 AM on November 29, 2011 [9 favorites]

Seconding youtube -- I'm an experienced cook that has been reading cookbooks and using printed recipes for years, but find that youtube cannot be beat when it comes to cooking techniques. This video on cooking a full English breakfast looks great.
posted by Wordwoman at 11:34 AM on November 29, 2011

This may sound obvious, but if you have the time I would absolutely do at least one "practice run" with this before his birthday. I'm a very good cook and have been frying eggs for years, but they're actually pretty tricky, particularly if you're planning to flip them. Hell, I've broken more than one egg just trying to get it out of the pan!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:34 AM on November 29, 2011

just a thought as well -- you could serve it to him naked (nice idea !), but wear apron while cooking , the tiny and very hot splatters of fat from the skillet might burn you .
posted by Oli D. at 11:43 AM on November 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

I can't cook either, but this is easy.

Fry sausage and bacon. Flip over to brown on both sides. They make their own grease (a lot).

The sausage will take longer than the bacon. Just take the bacon out first when it's done. (Or cook one first, then the other.)

Cook a piece of sausage for yourself, so you can check if it's done. *

When you take the bacon and sausage out of the pan, place them on a paper towel to soak up the excess grease.

Drain off the grease from the pan. You'll want to have a bowl handy for this. What's left sticking to the pan when you pour it out will be about right for frying the tomatoes.

Fry the tomato.

* What I mean by this is take the sausages out out of the pan when they look done, try yours, put them them back in and cook them a little more if it's not done yet.

Remember to turn the heat off when you're done. advil's advice to get a little extra in case you burn the first batch is a good idea. You'll be fine.

EmpressCallipygos' advice is much better than mine, but this will work as a condensed version.
posted by nangar at 11:46 AM on November 29, 2011

Your husband knows you cannot cook, so the point really is that it is the thought that counts. In the states we have microwavable bacon and sausage. If you can get that, do it and follow the directions on the packaging. Then take your sliced tomato and fry that in a pan with a small amount of vegetable oil. Put altogether on one plate and viola. Makes for a much easier cleanup too.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:32 PM on November 29, 2011

BigHeartedGuy: "Just a thought, but you could serve it to him naked and it probably wouldn't matter how it were cooked."

Serving breakfast naked is great, but whatever you do, DO NOT fry bacon while naked. Cooking bacon can splatter, and it can be quite painful, especially on more, umm, sensitive areas.

This advice is probably unnecessarily obvious, but just in case...
posted by JMOZ at 1:52 PM on November 29, 2011

Have mimosas on hand in case it all goes horribly wrong! Have fun.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 2:19 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

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