You know when you’re at a diner, and you start thinking to yourself, “Should I be indulgent and get the big ol’ country breakfast plate or be safe and just get like a bowl of fruit or a small stack of pancakes?” Yeah, that happens to me all the time. The sad news is that I almost never get the big country breakfast, and believe me, I’d love to. Sometimes you have to be a logical thinking person though, and consider all of the doughnuts and cookies and fries you’ve already eaten in the week, so you decide to be good. What makes country breakfast platters so great anyhow? Could it be the country fried steak slathered in gravy served with eggs and of course let’s not forget about those fluffy flaky buttermilk biscuits? There’s no way that a bowl of fruit could beat that.
These sandwiches are in honor of all those times that we’ve all opted out for the fruit instead. All those times we’ve tearfully made the decision to be good. Sometimes we just need to be bad. So whenever you do have that sudden urge to indulge, I’ll always be here rooting and cheering you on. Today, I’m rooting you on with these Country Breakfast Sandwiches. It’s everything we love in that traditional diner plate, rolled into a nice small package. I’m not going to be crazy and say that these are healthy, because let’s face it, that’s impossible. But I will say that these have two things going for them that make them a little bit better, A). they’re homemade and B). the country fried steak is actually country fried turkey breakfast sausage. I practically feel healthier already.
Let’s start by making the biscuits. Any and all sandwiches need a really good vessel to hold everything in place. This breakfast sandwich is no exception. The best part about this breakfast sandwich is that said vessel is a fluffy buttermilk biscuit. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add the butter and work with your fingers or a pastry blender into the flour until the butter resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Add in the buttermilk and mix until just combined.
**Note: Work quickly with the butter and stirring of the buttermilk because you don’t want to warm the butter with the warmth from your hands. The key to fluffy flaky biscuits is cold butter. That’s what creates layers in the biscuit.**
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times. Then roll out into a large circle about 1/2-an inch thick. Cut with a 4-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush with buttermilk on top and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven, until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes.
To make the “country-fried steak,” we’re using turkey breakfast sausage. Then dipping the patties into flour and cornstarch mixture, then into buttermilk and then back again into the flour mixture.
**Tip: Whenever you fry something with a flour dredge, try adding a bit of cornstarch to your flour base. The cornstarch makes for a crisper crunchy coating, when fried!**
Fry the dredged sausage patties in hot oil until golden brown and crunchy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, while you continue frying the rest.
**Note: Keeping fried foods on a wire rack, will prevent them from getting soggy because it allows air to circulate evenly from top to bottom. If you were to place the fried food directly onto the baking sheet or plate, the bottom will get soggy.**
Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a country breakfast without white gravy. So to make some, place a saucepan over medium-high heat and create a roux with butter and flour. Cook for about 30 seconds to cook off that raw flour taste, and then whisk in the milk. Cook until the milk has thickened and then season with salt and plenty of coarse ground black pepper. You need lots of black pepper in a white gravy.
To assemble the sandwiches, split the biscuits in half, and place a few small pieces of Cheddar cheese on top of the bottom of each biscuit. Then place a country-fried sausage patty on top of that, and spoon over with some of the white gravy.
Then top the sandwiches with a sunny-side-up fried egg. Season the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper, because remember, you have to season every step of the way. Eggs really need that little bit of salt and pepper.
**Tip: You can cook the eggs anyway you’d like for this. Over-easy, poached or even scrambled would be great in this sandwich!**
Lastly carefully top each sandwich with the top half of the biscuits. Be careful not to pop the egg yolk when you place the top biscuit on because you want to do that just as you’re about to eat the sandwiches!
These are kind of small breakfast sandwiches, so I won’t blame you if you decide to eat two all on your own. I won’t even try to lie to you by saying that I didn’t do that myself, because I totally did, and I regret nothing.
Serve the sandwiches with hot sauce on the side, just in case you or whomever you plan on serving them to likes a little spice in their food. Dare I even say that they might even be good with ketchup? I guiltily happen to love ketchup on my eggs, especially when they’re scrambled.
I don’t find that these sandwiches need a sauce, because of the yolk and cheese. It’s a rich sandwich so I feel like a sauce would be too much, but if you’d like, try adding a bit of mayo or even a spicy mayo would be good too.
You can make the biscuits in advance and keep them in the fridge or freezer. Then just rewarm them in the oven for a few minutes before you plan on making and eating these sandwiches. They’re great first thing in the morning before work, and even better in a breakfast for dinner feast.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup chilled buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- couple dashes of hot sauce
- 1 (12-ounce) package turkey breakfast sausage
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 6 sunny-side up fried eggs
- 3 slices Cheddar cheese, cut in half
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- To make the biscuits, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add the diced butter, and work in with your fingers or pastry blender until the butter resembles coarse crumbs, the size of peas. Add the buttermilk and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined, trying hard not to overwork. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times and then roll out into a large circle about 1/2 an inch thick. Cut into 6 biscuits using a 4-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush with buttermilk. Sprinkle the top of the biscuits with black pepper and bake until puffed up and golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- To make the chicken-fried sausage, combine two of the patties into one shaping them into thin rounds. Place on a plate and continue shaping the rest. Pour the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper and paprika in a shallow dish. Place the buttermilk and hot sauce in a separate shallow dish. Dip the sausage patties into the flour, then into the buttermilk and once again into the flour mixture. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
- Fill a cast iron skillet just about halfway up with oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the dredged sausage patties, about 2 at a time, and fry on both sides until browned and crunchy, about 3 to 4 minutes per sides. Drain and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Then immediately transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue frying the remaining sausage patties.
- To make the gravy, place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with the butter, once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the milk, cooking until the mixture has thickened, whisk constantly, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.
- To assemble the sandwiches, split the biscuits in half. Place a slice of cheese on each bottom half, top with a chicken-fried sausage patty, spoon some gravy over the sausage and place a fried egg on top. Place the top of the biscuit on top and enjoy!
- Yield: 6 sandwiches