My Husband Is A Professional Chef. Here's What We Eat For Breakfast.

When I first met my partner, who has cooked professionally since he was still in high school, breakfast was a big part of our relationship. We often met up at late-night breakfast spots in our first several months of dating, and then one of us would cook breakfast for the other the next morning.

Dating a chef gave me some grandiose ideas about our future. I imagined lazy mornings with impeccable breakfast spreads planned and prepared by him. That’s just not our reality, though. He’s out of the house most mornings before the rest of our family is out of bed. And when he is home for breakfast, standing in the kitchen is often the last thing he feels like doing. An actual breakfast made by “Chef Dada” is a rare treat.

That doesn’t mean our family is eating boring, flavorless breakfast food, though — we’re tired, but we still have taste buds. So, in our house, there are two types of breakfasts. Most of the time, we have “chef-approved” everyday breakfasts, vetted over the years by my partner but made by me. On special occasions (i.e., he woke up on the right side of the bed), we have the chef-made breakfasts I once daydreamed about.

Both are delicious, and both have been tinkered with, improved upon, and made extra special by my chef husband’s impossibly high standards and amazingly good taste. Here are a few tried-and-true breakfast tips from our kitchen, along with one of our favorite recipes.

Eggs are your best (breakfast) friend.

Since eggs don’t take long to make, we prefer just to cook ’em fresh each morning. We have omelets almost all the time because they’re fast, easy, and full of protein. Plus, there’s literally nothing you can’t put in scrambled eggs — it’s a great way to use leftovers or veggies on their last legs.

Don’t put eggs in an empty pan.

Eggs are almost flavorless by themselves, and starting them in an empty pan is a waste of both time and eggs. Whether you cook some frozen sausages first, fry up some bacon, or just plop in a big ol’ spoonful of bacon grease into the skillet: Cook something in that pan before you cook your eggs.

I usually toss omelet additions in the skillet first because they take longer to heat through, and that extra time on the fire, especially with some butter, only adds to the flavor. Depending on who’s eating, I scramble two to three eggs for each person and pour over top.

Big flavor is a big deal.

Seasonings can downright rescue a bland breakfast. Our favorite omelet is made with leftover chicken and some diced onions and peppers, seasoned heavily with creole seasoning. A generous drizzle of Momofuku Chili Crunch on some leftover fried rice with extra fresh scrambled eggs is delicious and a fantastic way to clear your sinuses when dealing with lingering cold symptoms.

Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to stray away from standard salt and pepper.

Set realistic breakfast-ations (aka breakfast expectations).

We carve out time to make breakfast most mornings because breakfast is our favorite meal. Breakfast is important on a nutritional and emotional level for us because it takes us back to the early days of our relationship.

But it can’t always happen. Our freezer also has frozen waffles and breakfast sandwiches. Chef Dada often heads to work with nothing more than an energy drink rotting his gut, and I am notorious for attempting to survive on chai alone. While I stand by how quick and easy it is to cook eggs, I also recognize that “easy” is relative. Get your vitamins and nutrients in as flavorful and stress-free manner as you can manage.

The Chef-made Special Occasion Breakfast

We have eggs every day, but I’d feel like I was letting down an entire nation if I didn’t also share what Chef Dada makes for breakfast a few times a month: chocolate chip brioche French toast and sausage patties. (Making a sandwich and eating it cold for lunch three hours later is optional but highly recommended.)

What You’ll Need:

  • Sausage patties
  • Chocolate chip brioche (this isn’t hard to find… the stuff at Aldi is perfect)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter (sticks work best)
  • Powdered sugar, syrup, or both

What You’ll Do:

  • Cook your sausage patties, per package instructions, in one to two skillets. Chef Dada opts for more dishes in order to finish faster and have everything done around the same time. You do you. When you’re done with your sausage, do not clean your skillets.
  • Beat your eggs with a splash of milk and season how you like. (We only use salt and cinnamon to compliment the chocolate chippiness.)
  • Carefully dunk your brioche slices into the egg mixture and then place into the skillet over medium-high. Don’t crowd your pan.
  • Cook each side for three to four minutes, depending on the thickness of your bread.
  • Use your stick of butter to gently butter the hot, cooked side of your French toast while it’s still in the skillet.
  • If you’re adding powdered sugar, consider doing that immediately after you remove your French toast from the pan. It mixes with the heat and melted butter to taste oh-so-good.

Sometimes, we’ll split up the sausage and toast cooking segments into halves and stop to cook more sausage before finishing the French toast. This helps add more fat and flavor to the skillet. It also helps ensure we still have sausage to eat with the French toast since we’re usually eating while he cooks, and I… run my mouth.

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