The Doodle's Bacon-Egg-and-Cheese-on-an-English

Everyone should know how to cook an egg. I mean, really: what else are you going to offer your date the next morning? Cereal?

Yet so many cooks, from those in your local diner to high-end brunch places, are capable of messing it up. The key is giving the egg lots of love and attention, something that the Yankee Doodle in New Haven has done since 1950.

This recipe is very quick, but you must operate at lightning speed to execute it well. Pretend you're a line cook. "Bacon-egg-and-cheese-on-an-English" is an order shouted from counter to cook, and it's done here in the style of Lew Beckwith, Jr., the Doodle's great master chef in the 90's.

Bacon Egg and Cheese on an English

1 Thomas' English muffin
2 strips Oscar Mayer bacon
2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 large egg at room temperature
1 slice pale yellow American cheese


Get out all the equipment you'll need: a large, 2 burner griddle, or an omelette pan and a skillet. A spatula, a breadknife, a regular table knife for the butter, a long fork for the bacon, and a small domed saucepan lid. You'll also need a toaster, which should be placed right next to the stove.

Lay out all the ingredients in order of appearance. Slice the English muffin in half with the bread knife and put the slices in the toaster (do not toast them yet). Put the bacon slices on waxed paper. Soften a stick of unsalted butter by nuking it on defrost for 20 seconds, if necessary. Bring the egg to room temperature by running it under warm water, if necessary. Unwrap the cheese from any cellophane covering. Place all these ingredients next to each other, as shown.

1. Heat a skillet (or cooler half of the griddle) to medium-high. It's ready when a few droplets of water splashed on the pan skittle and evaporate.

2. Lay the bacon slices on the pan. They should be sizzling loudly but not alarmingly so.

3. Watch the raw pork fat off your hands.

4. Start toasting the English muffin.

5. Turn the heat on the omelette pan to high.

6. At about the 2 minute mark, the bacon should be beginning to brown. Carefully flip it.

7. Put a tablespoon of butter in the omelette pan and swirl it around as it foams. Break the egg against the flat surface of the counter and open it onto the omelette pan, leaving the yolk whole. The English muffin will pop up about now - just leave it in the toaster to stay warm.

8. When the egg white is set about halfway through and the bottom isn't brown yet, about a minute into cooking, carefully flip the egg without breaking the yolk. (Or, if you prefer a hard-cooked yolk, break it with the edge of the spatula before flipping it.) Don't let the egg fold over onto itself.

9. Working very quickly, put the cheese on top of the egg, take the bacon out of the skillet and put it on top of the cheese, and cover the whole thing with the small domed lid.

10. Remove the English muffin from the toaster and smear both halves with the remaining tablespoon of butter. In the time it takes to do this, your egg will be cooked.

11. Remove the lid and scoop the bacon, egg and cheese with a spatula, slide it onto the English muffin, and voilà: you have a Doodle special.

The yolk will burst when you bite into the sandwich. Never fear, that's what it's supposed to do. It's deliciously messy.

Total cooking time: 4 minutes, 40 seconds.
Serves 1.

To make 2, lay out twice as many ingredients in the beginning, then repeat the entire process. (The first egg sandwich should stay warm. Cover it with foil if you want.) Or, after you have a lot of experience, you can try making more than one bacon egg and cheese at a time. But I've only seen the Doodle cooks master that.