I wasn't planning on doing much cooking after Thanksgiving, but recently in a Discord server, where I've spent way too much time lately, started a contest. The theme is breakfast and, I'll quote, "The main focus of this competition is for you to learn new skills or recipes as well as get inspiration from others to improve yourself."
For this I decided to go with a simple concept, but to make use of my Cast Iron Skillet that usually never gets used and also a new Grilling Cast Iron Skillet that I really haven't used yet (with an added bonus of eye candy for the grill lines). So what is an American breakfast? I would have to say definitely fried eggs and toast with some sort of pork in there somewhere. I had bacon and smoked sausage, but the bacon didn't look as nice. For an extra touch, some grilled sliced tomatoes because I grew up with tomatoes and also a fancy caffeinated beverage! So if you're eager to make this, then just look at the picture and go for it, it's too simple for instructions, but if you read on I'll throw some tips at you. Oh, and what makes it great? Parsley of course.
I started by slicing some Italian bread at an angle to increase surface area, then buttered both sides. Don't lay it on thick if you're using spread butter. I used melted butter and brushed it on both sides of each slice. This would also be a good time to go ahead and slice a Roma tomato the same way or lengthwise to maximize the surface area of the tomato.
The bacon was key even though it didn't make the plate and gave my dog a really nice snack. I sprayed just a small bit of non-stick on my grilling cast iron skillet and heated it up and as soon as it was hot the bacon went in. This will render the bacon fat and grease the pan for us. Remove the bacon as soon as it's done to your liking. Next I laid the smoked sausage down on the grilling pan and let them sit for a couple of minutes on a few of its sides. My sausage was already cooked so it only needed to be heated through. Next time I'll be tempted to put something on top of the sausage with some weight so it flattens just a bit and makes better contact with the grill. That's it for the meat.
For the toast I just laid it right down on the hot grill pan for a minute or two on each side, don't move your pan around or some of the grease might soak in the bread unless you want soggy toast). Lastly for the grill I laid the tomato slices on the grill and let them cook for a minute, flipped them, another minute, then removed carefully so they stayed together. I couldn't believe they actually retained some grill marks.
Why are you reading this section, move on, everyone knows how to fry eggs, right? I simply put a couple of millimeters of oil in my regular cast iron (not the grill one) and broke the eggs into it. As soon as the eggs are done, lay them gently onto your toast. A tiny sprinkle of coarse salt and a tiny bit of freshly ground black pepper.
You'll need a French press for this. I use an 8-Cup / 34-oz / 1-Liter press for this so you'll get a couple of drinks out of it. I put about 1 cup of Folgers Classic ground coffee into the press and started my kettle to heat the water. When the water is ready, fill the press about 1/3rd of the way and let it sit for a moment then fill it up the rest of the way. Stir gently and assemble the press so it's ready to push (just don't push it yet). Let that sit for at least 4 minutes, but personally I like it a little stronger so I go for 5 minutes, and then slowly push it down.
Get a temporary large glass or if you have a martini shaker, even better. Pour the coffee in about 1/2 of the container and stir in your desired amount of sugar and dark chocolate syrup (Torani is great), then fill the rest of the way with your choice of milk (I use half-n-half). To know how much milk to put in I usually just get the color to medium brown. This is according to taste (its hot!) so start small and gradually add more until it's to your liking. Once you have the flavor just right add as much ice that will fit and shake/stir. Finish by pouring into a glass of ice and top if with a little more milk or even better heavy cream.