Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade Egg McMuffin - Sandwich VIDEO

The master of low-priced cuisine raids the corporate kitchens of the world's largest fast food purveyor (and California native,) McDonald's, and builds his own Egg McMuffin. In the final video of February Sandwich Month, this culinary sleuth takes you from the drive-thru to making your own egg frying ring -- you know that eggs don't come out of the shell in the shape of a hockey puck, right? And in a stop motion animated style, you'll see all the easy cooking steps -- entertainingly so. 

I lost my Egg McMuffin cherry at Mickey D's in the 1970's. It was love at first bite -- a crunchy English muffin with a soft, sour-doughy texture, segueing into hot melted American cheese covering a firm springy disc of egg, and finishing up with smokey-sweet Canadian Bacon. A truly international melding of flavors, the Egg McMuffin is built to satisfy.

Initially, McDonald's corporate elites threatened to close down the Santa Barbara-adjacent franchise that created this breakfast treat. But when its owner, Herb Peterson (who also invented it), served it to McDonald's big cheeses, it took hold and took off from there.

The trick to an Egg McMuffin's pleasing visual aesthetic is a metal frying ring. You saute the egg in it, and you also cut out a circle of ham and cheese. (Canadian bacon is normally used, but hard to get here, so I am substituting similar-tasting ham.) I made my own egg frying ring from a discarded can of water chestnuts that I got for 49 cents. Its diameter is about the same as an English muffin.

Any can with a similar diameter is fine to use, just make sure you can remove both ends with a can opener -- a tuna is the right size, but it has a rounded bottom that is too hard to cut through, so stick with cans where the bottom is the same as the top lip. I originally used a 16-ounce tomato sauce can but changed to a shorter water chestnut can so I could better photograph the frying egg. You can also use the metal lid of a canning jar. I've cooked up half a dozen Egg McMuffins so far and the ring is holding up fine.

Eggs Rings can be found and they are made especially for round-shaped eggs.

McDonalds Egg McMuffins cost $2.59 plus tax. Except for the thick ham slice (I could've bought a package of thinly sliced ham for 99.99 cents,) all the ingredients I picked up were cheap. For about $4 worth of supplies, I can make six Egg McMuffins easily -- that's way less than a dollar apiece, and I still have eggs left over. And I don't have to eat breakfast in the parking lot!

So if you don't want to waste gas in the drive-thru or wait in line, be sure to watch my easy-to-follow video directions and make your own Egg McMuffin while wearing your pajamas - 99 Cent Chef style.

Since I have a frying ring, now I need to figure out how they get that syrup into a McGriddle pancake breakfast sandwich -- so I can start making my own!

Homemade Egg McMuffin - VIDEO 

Play it here. Video runs 3 minutes, 15 seconds.

To view or embed from YouTube, click here.

Ingredients (one sandwich)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of ham or Canadian bacon - I used a thick slice of ham, but you could also use cheap packaged thin-sliced ham.
  • 1 slice of American cheese - or any favorite cheese.
  • 1 English (style) muffin
  • Oil for metal egg ring - I used cooking spray. You could also smear on regular cooking oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - optional for seasoning the frying egg.

I made my own egg-frying metal ring. You want a can that is as wide as a muffin, so the egg is not too large or too small. I found that 16-ounce tomato sauce cans work well. You want a can that does not have a rounded bottom, as it is too hard to remove. I used a short can of chestnuts for this video -- so you could easily see the egg cooking. One can that does not work is a tuna can (although it is the right diameter) because it has a rounded bottom. Now they sell Egg Rings for round-shaped eggs.

Remove the top and bottom of the tin can with your can opener and empty it. Wash and rinse out the can so canned flavors do not contaminate the frying egg. When the can is damp it is easier to remove the label. If you do not get it all off, that's okay -- the sides of the can do not get that hot. Dry off the can.

I found it easy to use the can to stamp/cut out the American cheese and ham. My ham slice was thick, so I had to use a knife to slice it all the way through. Set aside round-cut cheese and ham.

Use your favorite omelet pan over medium heat. Lightly oil the inside of the egg metal ring with cooking spray (okay to wipe on regular veggie oil.)

Place the ring in the heating pan. Add one egg into the ring. You can scramble the egg first (any way you like it ) in a bowl, and then add it, or just break the egg directly into the ring. A little egg may leak out the bottom of the can, but not that much. Take a fork or knife to break the yolk (or not, it's up to you.) Over medium heat, it takes about 5 minutes for the egg to cook through, since it is a thick puck you are frying.

It's best to leave the can alone so the bottom of the egg gets a nice crusty bottom. As the top of the egg starts to get firm, it's time to add the ham and toast the English muffin.

You can heat up the ham in the same frying pan if there is room. When the top of the egg looks firm enough, take a butter knife and loosen the egg from the inside of the can. Remove the can from around the egg - and depending on how hot the pan gets, be careful when handling the egg frying ring. Use a spatula to loosen the egg from the frying pan and flip it over.

Add the cheese to the egg. Heat ham through as muffin toasts. The egg only needs to cook for barely a minute more. Remove the egg and cheese if the ham takes too long to heat through -- no need to overcook it all.

When the muffin is lightly browned, and the ham is heated though, assemble the Egg McMuffin.

If you don't like a crispy skin on your egg, you can add a 1/4 cup of water to the frying pan or a pot with a cover (once the egg is in the ring,) so the egg poaches, instead of frying (add more water if it cooks out before the egg is firm.) Drain out the water when it is time to remove the ring and flip the egg over (to finish cooking.) Obviously, you will heat up the ham in a different pan, or just microwave.

McDonald's sells a Sausage McMuffin, too. That's easy enough to make at home as well. Just start the sausage cooking earlier or pre-cook it. An Egg McMuffin is just as tasty without meat - egg and cheese is satisfying enough.

McDonald's brushes the muffin inside with butter, I left it off. Instead, I like mayo on my breakfast sandwiches. You can also add lettuce and tomato for fresh roughage.

If appearance is unimportant, don't cut the ham and cheese into discs, or even cook the egg in my homemade frying ring. Just cook everything the way you like it and build a breakfast muffin sandwich to suit your own taste.


Kathryn said...

I had not thought to try making my own Egg McMuffin copy at home but it sounds like fun! Thanks for sharing this with us:)

Nancy said...

One of my favorite resturants here in Austin does a variant on a muffin called eggs francisco. They are basically scrambled egga on a muffin topped with pieces of bacon. tomato and avocado with some of that cile cone queso poured on top. You don't get much bacon but the result is so good you don't care. Good for when you have leftover queso.

I love your blog.

Mariana787 said...

I just spend $6 in 3 metal rings to make eggs =$... Won't happen again.
After the video Im join to make one homemade egg mom muffing!!!!!! lol

Myrna said...

I love your blog. Don't often comment but still love it.

Unknown said...

Thank you sooo much...I couldn't find egg rings anywhere and needed them to make breakfast for a convention tomorrow. Yay!

Unknown said...

I have read many posts on this and I like yours. Thank you. Now my ideas on the McGriddle... I don't know how they do it but I have two ideas... One, make it in the ring and make the syrup firm first by putting in fridge. Then, put a little batter in the ring then quickly make a few lines across it with the syrup squeezing through a small nozzle (AJ syrup has one) then quickly put a bit more batter over that. Once cooking, turn over. That should work. OR you can make one pancake. break it into tiny crumbles. Saturate it in syrup. put in batter then put some crumbles in there. Then more batter and it's like stuffed with maple balls of syrup. I'll test it one day and let you know. I don't cook much so may be a while LOL Good luck and happy eating all.

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