Talk about an institution — Matt’s Big Breakfast has been serving really big breakfasts and more since 2004. For a little history, MBB started as a 25-seat, counter-style joint at First and McKinley streets with wraparound lineups, then expanded to a bigger 50-seat counter-style joint on First and Garfield streets with wraparound lineups, then branched out to five Valley locations. What's with the success? There are many reasons.
Husband-and-wife owners Matt and Erenia “Ernie” Pool are still crackin’, flippin’, scramblin’, squeezin’, and stackin’ piled-high plates like the salami scramble (three eggs scrambled with Molinari sopressata salami) and the waffle (a Belgian-style waffle with real maple syrup and two slices of thick-cut bacon), served with fresh-squeezed OJ.
MBB's M.O. from day one: scratch cooking using only the best ingredients by local producers and friendly service. And it’s with love that the Pools give you their beloved Chop & Chick recipe (two eggs with a marinated skillet-seared pork chop and breakfast potatoes). Just be sure to serve with a smile and bottomless coffee.
The Chop & Chick Recipe
Ingredients (yields two cups)
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
8 peeled garlic cloves
2 good handfuls local organic fresh basil (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup organic pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon good-quality coarse ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1. Add garlic cloves first into blender or small food processor and then add fresh basil, pine nuts, 1 cup of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper.
2. Pulse intermittently until all ingredients are incorporated and then slowly add remaining olive oil as blender speed is increased.
3. Run blender on mash setting for 20 to 25 seconds until consistency is smooth.
5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped from the stems
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1. Boil potatoes in a large pot for 45 minutes. They should be fork tender, but not mushy.
2. Dice boiled potatoes into approximately 1/2-inch cubes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and roast in the oven at 475 degrees for about 45 minutes until nicely golden brown.
3. Saute onion over medium-high heat with the remaining olive oil until very soft and nearly caramelized.
4. Add potatoes to a large skillet. Add salt, pepper, onions, and rosemary and saute together over high heat for five to six minutes until flavors are well blended. Reduce heat to low and hold until ready to serve.
1. Marinate one 7- to 8-ounce pork rib chop in 1 to 2 ounces of the pesto marinade, adding salt and pepper as desired, for two to three hours.
2. Fry in a nonstick pan or seasoned griddle for about three to four minutes per side until just cooked through.
3. Plate with a generous portion of home fries, two eggs cooked to order, and buttered toast with preserves on the side.
For more information, visit the Matt's Big Breakfast website.