Fried Eggs & Smelts over Mexican Green Chili Pepper Paste· Buttered, Toasted Olive Rye Toast | Mâche with Bacon Bits

THE MEAL OF THE DAY that is arguably the most difficult to make "healthy" would be breakfast. Traditionally laden with carbs and fat, for centuries, breakfast was originally meant to supply the body with all the energy and strength to do a full day's worth of physically labored work.

Nowadays, most of of grab something full of empty carbs, lots of fats, salt and chemicals, then sit on our butts for hours at a time in front of a computer. For many of us, the only other exercise we get is taking a quick walk to the office vending machine for a Snickers or some potato chips.

So, with admittedly little success, I wanted to start this year on a healthier kick, especially after the holidays' culinary irresponsibilities. Cooking in, at least, helps me control what I put on my plate and eventually in my body. And one of the core important dietary decisions I made this year was to get more seafood—with those all-important Omega-3/fish oil benefits into my meals.

So after being inspired by Aquavit chef Marcus Samuelsson's Fried Egg and Sardine breakfast featured this past sunday in the New York Daily News, I opened a can of smelts I purchased from Schaller & Weber, while making a paste of some green chiles—my friend, Margaret, had brought them back from a recent trip to Mexico—and spreading that paste on some buttered, toasted slices of olive rye bread.

I sautéed i few smelt fillets in some rendered bacon fat in a cast iron skillet, meanwhile frying to egg yolks sunny-side-up. I then placed the eggs on top of the chili pepper paste, then placed the smelt decoratively on top of them, trying to not visually obstruct the eggs. I then drizzled some soy sauce over the whole shebang.

This was a very tasty fish, making me wonder why there weren't more breakfast dishes that were accompanied by seafood (except in the South where you can get any version of fried fish along with your scrambleds and French Toast sticks!).

A smelt fish, flavor-wise, is somewhere between their cousins the sardine and the anchovy in terms of taste and intensity thereof, and were a pleasant extra layer of flavor just below the heat and kick of the green chili pepper paste and just above the warm, gooey egg yolk that tempered, and mellowed that heat. The soy sauce added some earthy saltiness and exotic aroma.

I, although not the healthiest breakfast I could have made—short of pine needles and müeslix!—getting my more-than-daily-recommended-allowance of Omega-3 fish oils was definitely a step in the right direction. Coupled with the choices of healthier bread, some greens, and even the bacon, in bits, accounted for only about half a slice, as opposed to the at least two or three slices I usually have with the first meal of the day.

I already feel a bit more energized than I do after a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich; maybe the benefits of these Omega-3s will also boost my usually dormant Alpha Dog as well...!

Bun Apple Tea!


Fried Eggs & Smelts over Mexican Green Chili Pepper Paste · Buttered, Toasted Olive Rye Toast | Mâche with Bacon Bits