Since my victory on Food Network Star’s rendition of Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown, I’ve had many friends and fans ask for my Chocolate-Covered Bacon & Burrata Breakfast Sandwich. I’ve even considered making it a brunch special at Firelight Camps, but it’s so damn decadent that I’m afraid I might feed a new addiction. Bobby Flay did say, “You give me bacon, chocolate and cream, and I’ll go anywhere with you …”
I made my choco-bacon-burrata bomb a third time today for this post. It was a happy excuse to visit my all-time favorite butcher shop, The Piggery and pick up a loaf from my favorite baker, Stefan Senders. With nearly every post, there are always taste-testers lurking behind the screen and the lucky pair was Bobby and one of my best friends from college, Tony. Both confirmed that this sandwich is the way to anyone’s heart, which we all know is really located in the belly.
So how did this all begin? Let’s take a little trip down memory lane…
For those of you who don’t know, Cutthroat Kitchen is a battle complete with hideous sabotages that make it near impossible for the most targeted chefs to cook. We played on Food Network Star. It began with a two-minute shop for ingredients, after which I was panting more than any soccer-field sprint. I was terrified of being sabotaged, because let’s be honest, I was just trying to hold my own and cook! I was also hesitant to dole out a sabotage – you know I prefer to make friends than enemies.
The chocolate-covered bacon Kenny saddled me with was a gift in disguise, and we both knew it. There seemed little sense in boiling off the chocolate to refry it plain while also trying to bust out my Everything Biscuits. Anticipating some disaster, and grasping for a sense of comfort from home, I had stuffed a pack of English Muffins into my shopping cart as backup. They served perfectly for my Monte Cristo style sandwich.
When I think of bread and chocolate I’m instantly transported back to summer holidays in the Italian Alps, where my mom would assemble this decadent pairing to power her troop of four children up the trails. Italy is, after all, home to the queen of spreadable chocolate: Nutella! I wouldn’t be surprised if it was discovered from these very sandwiches, melted in the bottom of a pack. (My friends at home never believed we were allowed such snacks, while I was always in fits over never having Doritos in the pantry.
Now, truth be told, Mamma took one for the team. When she saw the sandwich debut on TV, she said “Emma, I would have never made you chocolate-covered bacon and cheese sandwiches! Ew!” Now now, they are good – rich, but good. But it’s true that the charcuterie and cheese would be somewhere on the picnic blanket next to, not ON, the chocolate sandwich. This inspired breakfast sandwich was a happy, albeit stressful, accident where I took Alton Brown’s advice to heart: always look for a way to turn your liability into an asset. You won’t regret making this at home.
You can bypass making the chocolate covered bacon, and instead, use crispy bacon and a chocolate spread, like Nutella. The components are the same, especially by the time the cheese melts onto the toast and glues together the egg-soaked bread, invoking familiar mornings with French Toast. When I can't find burrata, I use fresh mozzarella, which is just as good and more affordable. You can use any bread ... repeat ... any bread. I used English Muffins on Food Network Star, but today I'm using Honey Whole Wheat from Wide Awake Bakery, because it's simply the best.
- Eggs - 3
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Bread - 4 thick slices
- Bacon - 1/2 pound, slices halved
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips - 1 cup
- Fresh Mozzarella - About 10 (1/4-inch) slices
- Beat the eggs with a fork. Whisk in the salt.
- In a shallow dish or pan, place the bread slices and drench with the eggs. Let sit while you prepare the bacon.
- Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towel. Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a frying pan, crisp the bacon on medium heat. When the bacon is crispy as can be, transfer to drain on the paper towel. Transfer the bacon fat to a jar, but save the pan with residue for finishing off the sandwich.
- While the bacon is cooking, place the chocolate chips in a small sauce pan or in a double boiler, and melt over medium-low heat. If melting directly in the saucepan, stir continually to prevent the bottom from burning.
- When the bacon is drained and cool, use tongs to dip each slice into the melted chocolate and transfer to the parchment paper. When you've completed this step with all the bacon, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to cool. The chocolate will harden. (Extra chocolate-covered bacon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
- Now the fun part - assembling the sandwich! On one slice of bread, layer 4-5 slices of cheese and 4-5 slices of chocolate-covered bacon. Complete the sandwich with another slice. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- On medium-low, reheat the pan that you used to cook the bacon. Use a spatula to transfer the sandwich to the pan, one at a time. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Repeat with the second sandwich.
- Slice the sandwiches in half and serve (trust me, one half is plenty!).
Allergens: dairy, eggs, wheat