Cheap Eats at Bloglander

8/22/06 | Ghetto McMuffins

[ Currently Eating: Some Kind Of Cereal ]

Egg Mcmuffins at HomeAfter the immensely popular Ghetto Pizza post, I decided to take another trip down ghetto memory lane. Again, I don’t mean ghetto in any derogatory way… like, if you live in or near a sketchy neighborhood I’m not saying this is the only type of food you would eat. In fact, you probably eat much better than me…

Anyhow, welcome to Ghetto McMuffins 101. The idea is to mimic all of those breakfast sandwiches that cost an arm and a leg. Hey, there’s no reason to make your wallet feel so sad in the morning! Make one at home. It takes about 5-10 minutes.

I mentioned latch-key kid food before, and this could also fall into that category. However, it’s a bit more “advanced” since I find it difficult to make egg scrambles in the microwave or toaster (it can be done, however). You’ve gotta use the stove; but it’s still pretty fast:

Ghetto McMuffins

1 english muffin — $0.25
1-2 eggs — $0.15
1/2 – 1 hotdog — $0.12
1 slice cheese, optional — $0.10
pepper, optional

Total: $0.62

Cut the english muffin in half and put it in the toaster set for extra crispy. Meanwhile, beat the egg(s) lightly in a small bowl. Throw in pepper if you like. Cut up the hotdog into chunks. Get a medium fire under a small (8-9 inch is fine) non stick omelette pan going. At some point you might want to put a bit of oil in the pan but I find I can avoid it for non-stick.

Cook the hot dogs until slightly browned. Distribute them across the bottom of the pan and pour in the egg(s). Lower the fire. Stir a bit with a spatula. Let it set up a bit, a few minutes. You can cover it to speed it along.

When the top is nearly cooked, get a rubber spatula and cut the scramble down the middle. Here, you can insert a slice of cheese or whatever you want on each semi-circle. Fold the egg semi-circle over so it’s a quarter-circle.

Put each quarter-circle on a toasted english muffin half. This makes 2 open face McMuffins, or close it up for a gigantic McMuffin.

Before we go into how good it tastes and how fast it is, I’ll just say that I don’t eat this every day. More like once a month. Still, no matter how bad it is, it’s still cheaper and probably better for you than getting it in the drive-thru.

I’ve made a version with a breakfast sausage-like patty before instead of hotdogs in the middle that tastes more like a Sausage McMuffin. You take either raw breakfast or italian sausage, remove the casings and then form a patty out of it. Fry that up and make an egg scramble like above minus the dogs.

I sometimes put the cheese in it, and other times not. Omitting cheese cuts the price by a dime or so. This is basically a Moveable Omelette and is great for people on the go. As McDonalds, Burger King and Carl’s Junior have found out.

I like to use the English Muffins for it, but you can get away with normal bread as well. English Muffins are a bit expensive as well, which is a bit of a bummer. So bread might be the way to go for truly Cheap Eats. You can also throw in any other ingredients into the egg scramble. Mushrooms, onions, zucchini, spinach, tomatoes. Old socks. Actually, stay away from putting old socks in the omelette. That doesn’t taste very good.

More Ghetto Mcmuffins

The quantity of hot dog can be cut down, or eliminated completely. I find that 1/2 hot dog is plenty for me actually. You could also use cut up chunks of ham, turkey lunch meat or chicken breast meat instead.

The way I cook it, the egg scramble is going to be a bit more “rubbery” than your average omelette (yes, I’ve seen that guy on TV who flash-cooks omelettes in 30 seconds). But I sort of like my eggs less fluffy. You’ll have to adjust the method if you like your eggs less solid. Oh, and you probably want to throw some butter in for good measure.

Ghetto McMuffins rank up there with Ghetto Pizza as a great once-in-awhile treat to make in the morning that’s fast and cheap. It does dirty up a pan, though it’s not so bad if you use non-stick. And the great thing is you can control what you want to put in it.

Price: $0.62
Cheap Eats Score: 8/10

22 Responses to “Ghetto McMuffins”

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  1. Molly Says:

    If you microwave the eggs in a mug, you get that classic McDonalds round shape.

  2. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    molly – hmm, yeah i seem to remember someone telling me about that. I suppose if you could put the hot dogs in there as well you could skip the stovetop step entirely!

  3. EC Says:

    If you live near an Aldi’s, check out their frozen breakfast sandwiches. A box of 5 is $2.99, about the same price as yours per piece, and a lot less work. Just zap them in the microwave. They have one kind with the Canadian bacon and English muffin, and another one with sausage on a biscuit. Not bad at all.

    BTW, what you describe doing with the hot dog and egg, my dad used to call a Penny Omelet. :)

  4. Orchid Says:

    I’ve made the microwave version many times but usually using bagels instead of muffins. The thing you have to be really careful about is not overcooking the egg. Generally speaking, it helps if you stop it while the bottom is still a bit wet and allow it to sit for a minute or two to finish cooking, then add cheese if desired.

    I always cook the meat part separately (as a different layer) rather than integrate it with the egg because of the difference in the density of a sausage or whatnot and a desire not to cook the eggs into a rubber disc.

  5. Kate Says:

    In upstate New York, where I’m from, we call this technique of browning the ingredients in the pan and then pouring the eggs over it a Fretta. Kind of like the italian frittata.

  6. Maria Says:

    Mmmm, when I was a kid, my Mum used to chop up some ham, onions… brown that all up… pour the beaten eggs in… and top off the cooked eggs with a bit of chunky tomato salsa. Served on top of English muffins. Very tasty. I make it sometimes for breakfast or for quickie filling snack, but it’s just not the same you know, when you’re Mum makes it for you. :)

  7. Noelle Says:

    When I was little I used to wake up every morning and make these for my brother who was in college at the time. Microwaving is preferable and saves a lot of time. Take it from a kid who made breakfast for her older brother for 4 years. These are easy as pie. Wait. Pie’s not as easy… EASIER than pie. :]

  8. Chef Kaiser Says:

    For more fluffy eggs, add a few tbs of milk or cream and beat the eggs with a kitchen tool that will add more air (wisk, blender, beater, etc.).
    Our local dollar stores and Wal-Marts carry silicone cookware, including “personal cake pans” that have 3-4 inch diameters. These are cheap, and perfect for microwaving the eggs; they won’t stick and make the right size egg patty.

  9. TG Says:

    these look fantastic. not too hard, and therefore: inspirational. nice work!

  10. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    EC – I’ve heard many times about Aldi’s but they don’t have ‘em around me. I even saw the stores profiled on the Food Network once. Hey, Penny Omelet … cool!

    Orchid – oh yeah, I’ve made ghetto McBagels as well, those are great! Looks like I’ll have to investigate microwave methods more as well…

    Kate – Fretta, cool! I like finding out about these new names. Actually, interesting you mention frittata because I often make them. I put parm cheese in the egg mixture, fry up ham, mushrooms, spinach, etc. and then pour the egg mixture over it. cook it on low until almost set, then into the oven for 4 minutes or so until set, then invert onto the plate.

    maria – gosh yes. my mom used to make egg and hot dog scrambles on camping trips, that was the best.

    noelle – you were too nice! my brother was lucky if he got poo sandwiches.

    chef k – i’ll have to look into the mini cake pans. I wonder if you can use something like a glass muffin pan to make multiples. Oh yeah, i’ve heard the milk trick for the eggs too.

    tg – thanks, they are indeed easy!

  11. smoovebert Says:

    that sounds so good for some reason. am going to make one now.

  12. jgodsey Says:

    i bake the egg, scrambled or not in my toaster oven, in a pie-ette (the aluminum individual pie pans) pan. sometimes i put a slice of ham under it. when the egg is almost done i put the muffin into the oven to toast and a slice of cheese on top of the egg to melt. When done, I simply put one muffin half on top and flip the pan over. then top with the other half. and then i am out the door.

  13. John Says:

    I’m not going to lie, that looks delicious. I’m thinking about trying that tomorrow morning.

  14. Keith Says:

    Can you put anything else instead of hot dogs? I’m not a fan of them. I was thinking maybe avocado? Turkey slices?

  15. Blue Zebra Says:

    Love your site and that you add everything up! I love doing that too. It just jazzes me no end to know that a whole loaf of my sourdough bread, or a batch of 12 sourdough English muffins probably costs me about $0.25 for the whole batch! :D There just something so rewarding about that! Maybe it’s “obsession”!?

  16. Lola Says:

    Nothing Ghetto about cooking your own food, fool!

  17. Rob Says:

    Hey, I just thought I would say THANK YOU! I have wasted t too much of my money indulging in fruitlessly expensive meals day in and our rather than sucking it up and just shopping and cooking! I found your site and your recipes are not only cheap and tastey but are for the most part quick and easy! You saved me from starving, thanks ;)

  18. Joc Says:

    My dad makes a version of these –
    1. Spray a mug with non-stick cooking spray (much easier to clean the mug later).
    2. Crack one egg into the mug.
    3. Layer a slice of American cheese (we call it “plastic cheese”) over the raw egg in the mug. If you don’t like the cheese cooked in with the egg, it works just as well to add it later.
    4. Microwave for about 60-90 seconds with a piece of waxed paper or something over the top of the mug so you don’t have a mess in the microwave to clean later.
    5. Toast an english muffin.
    6. Dump the cooked egg/cheese onto the toasted english muffin and enjoy!
    We usually brown a slice of Canadian bacon to add to the sandwich too. Quick, portable breakfast. Yum!

  19. bob Says:

    people- you are making omlettes

  20. marci Says:

    This is a fun recipe, especially for busy moms. I had to laugh at a memory it brought up, though: my husband was raised by a single dad (along with his two brothers), and he’d fry eggs and bacon, butter toast and spread with jam, cube the toast, dump it into a coffee cup, top with bacon and eggs and voila!! Rick’s Breakfast in a Mug!! Seriously, though, the Ghetto McMuffins are a good treat.

  21. Don Xiong Says:

    Even more ghetto version… use SPAM lol

  22. yummyummm Says:

    wow, never thought of this… been doing my own quazi-mcmuffins by buying walmart sausage patties and doing an egg… think i will try this though



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