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Breakfast sandwich options to jump start the day

Over the past year I’ve prepared more hot breakfasts than ever before. My hands-down favorite is the versatile breakfast sandwich. Whether on a toasted bagel, English muffin or a warm biscuit, an egg, some melty cheese and a slice of deli meat is a hearty delicious way to start the day.

There are also many other options to explore, like breakfast burritos, strudels and cups. Though not technically sandwiches, these all start with a dough, contain a flavorful eggy filling, and can be hand-held and eaten without a knife and fork.

What’s not to like about recipes that you can change or add ingredients to according to taste, or to whatever’s hanging out in the fridge.

Breakfast Burritos

6 large eggs

3 egg whites

Dash cayenne pepper

1/2-pound loose breakfast sausage

3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

6 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas, warmed

6 T. salsa

Directions: In small bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In large skillet, over medium heat, crumble sausage and cook till no longer pink. Drain fat from pan. Push sausage to one side of pan. Pour egg mixture into center of pan. Cook and stir till set. Sprinkle with cheese and green chilies. Remove from heat; cover and let stand till cheese is melted.

Place 1/3 cup egg mixture off center on each tortilla. Fold sides and end over filling and roll up. Top with salsa. Serves 6.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Strudels

3 T. butter, divided

2 T. all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

5 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup fully cooked ham, coarsely ground in food processor

6 sheets phyllo dough (14×9-inch)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Topping:

2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Minced parsley

Directions: In saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour till smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or till thickened. Stir in cheeses and salt.

In large non-stick skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add eggs and cook till almost set. Stir in ham and cheese sauce; heat through. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on work surface (keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent dough from drying out.) Brush phyllo sheet with melted butter and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons bread crumbs. Fold in half length-wise and brush again with butter. Spoon 1/2 cup filling onto phyllo about 2 inches from a short side. Fold side and edges over filling and roll up. Repeat process with remaining sheets of phyllo, butter, bread crumbs and filling.

Place on greased baking sheet; sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Parmesan and parsley. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown. Serves 6. Tip: These can be assembled ahead and frozen individually before baking.

Eggs Benedict Cups

2 slices white bread

1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 green onion, chopped

2 slices Canadian bacon or ham, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. minced fresh basil or a pinch of dried basil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 T. butter

2 T. plus 2 tsps. hollandaise sauce mix

1/2 cup water

Minced parsley for garnish

Directions: Coat 2 (8-ounce) ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray or butter. Line each cup with a slice of bread. Layer with cheese, green onions, Canadian bacon, garlic powder, and basil. Pour eggs into cups.

Place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven 20 to 25 minutes.

In small saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in sauce mix then gradually stir in water. Bring to boil, cook and stir 1 minute or till thickened. Gently remove bread cups to plates. Serve with hollandaise sauce and parsley. Serves 2.

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