Cool Tool…The Cast Iron Bacon Press

You gotta CRUSH that bacon flat!

One of the great all time nonessential-but-cool-to-have kitchen tools is the cast iron bacon press. You use it to keep bacon from curling up as it cooks, and that makes it great for topping sandwiches (like killer BLTs, bacon cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich). Used in conjunction with a heavy, seasoned Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Pan (an essential addition to any kitchen because of its excellent heat retention and diffusion properties), it’s also perfect for weighting down chops, burgers or steaks while pan-frying, which helps to keep more of the surface area of the meat in contact with the pan. This  browns them more evenly and helps develop complex flavors and aromas via the Maillard Reaction, all while forming a tasty caramelized crust .

The Ultimate (Simple) Breakfast Sandwich

I think this may be my favorite breakfast sandwich. It puts all those fast food breakfast sandwiches to shame and it couldn’t be easier. It consists of one egg over easy, topped with melted extra sharp cheddar cheese and crispy bacon on a soft roll.

One of the secrets to making the sandwich is how to get the cheese melted perfectly without overcooking the egg.  The best way to quickly melt the cheese is, as soon as the egg is flipped, lay the cheese on top of the egg and drop a teaspoon of water into the pan next to the egg and immediately cover the pan.  The resulting steam will melt the cheese in seconds. This technique also works great for cheeseburgers.

Another really cool tool to have in your kitchen is what’s called a bacon (or steak) press.  One of its many uses is to keep bacon flat as it cooks…it’s especially good for the B in BLTs.