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Lorenzo Manuali’s BEC Recipe

Lorenzo Manuali’s  NYC Bacon, Egg and Cheese Recipe

When it comes to the classic New York City bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel, I agree with Pete Wells: the power’s in the pervasiveness. For the New Yorker, the power of a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is definitely its ubiquity. It’s a breakfast you can pick up on almost any street corner that binds every one of us together. From the newly arrived young professionals who briskly make their way through the crowded streets, to the seasoned commuters riding waves of people in the subway. I can’t wait for those times to return.

With New York City the epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve caught myself missing the meandering walks I took each morning. I would walk from the 86th street subway station on Lexington Avenue to school with my bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel in hand. The shortest route was only three city blocks, but most days the need to just take in New York City for one more minute led me to wander off course for a few blocks. Before I knew it, I found myself lying down on the Central Park green in the early morning, the back of the Met just visible. As I irreverently gobbled my favorite breakfast sandwich, that classic more-than-partly-cloudy New York City weather always reminded me that this city is where I belong.

There’s power to the memories that all New Yorkers share with the sight, smell and taste of a bacon, egg and cheese on a warm, fluffy, slightly chewy bagel. While most of us remain at home, I thought I’d travel gastronomically to the city and back by recreating this New York City classic we all know and love.

Some Bacon, Egg and Cheese Recipe Notes

In my own BEC recipe, I added some extra ingredients and techniques to refine the classic sandwich and make it even better. Beyond the normal deliciousness that is a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, chives add a slight onion flavor that complements the sharp cheddar perfectly. Cream cheese adds just the right amount of richness and depth to a wonderfully custardy scrambled egg. Toasting the bagel in bacon fat adds extra bacon flavor — and who doesn’t like more bacon in each bite? Certainly, if you want to make a simple, more classic BEC recipe, that’s totally admirable. I know I have — sometimes there’s really nothing that can beat it. Still, all in all, the adjustments only add to the classic sandwich.

After testing this BEC recipe, when I bit into the sandwich, it brought me back to the many bagels I ate walking through the concrete jungle each morning. The streets of New York City that we know so well may not be hustling and bustling like they used to — at least temporarily. But this bacon, egg and cheese recipe can help us travel there and make us nostalgic until we can be back again.


1 bagel, halved
3 strips bacon
¼ cup grated sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cream cheese or crème fraîche
5-10 chives, chopped (using scissors is easiest)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


In a cast iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 8 minutes (4 minutes each side). Remove the bacon from the skillet and place to the side. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet.

The Art of Toasting the Bagel

For this BEC recipe, I like to use a bagel, versus a roll. Any type of bagel will do, where I like an everything or a sesame, depending on my mood. Either way, the bagel has to be toasted. Return the skillet to medium heat and let the fat return to heat. Cut the bagel in half and lightly soak the flat side of each in the bacon fat. Toast each side of the bagel flat side down in the bacon fat, about 2 minutes each. The flat sides of the bagel halves should be golden brown. If there’s too much bacon fat underneath the bagel for it to properly toast, tilt the skillet so the fat pools to one side. Then, use tongs to place the bagel flat side down above the pooled fat.

Alternatively, if the bacon fat smokes too much for your kitchen, lightly soak the flat sides of the bagel halves in bacon fat and toast in a toaster oven (or standard oven) until golden brown. Take both sides of the bagel off heat. Add the grated cheese to one side of the bagel and place in a toaster oven (or oven) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted to your liking.

The Gordon Ramsey Technique

Crack two large, cold eggs into a nonstick pan with a tablespoon of cold butter. Over high heat, stir the eggs with a rubber spatula for 30 seconds. Then alternate by cooking the eggs off-heat and on-heat every 10 seconds for about 3 minutes, mixing constantly. This technique is my favorite for scrambled eggs — it’s from Gordon Ramsay. As you’re finishing, take the pan off heat and add the chopped chives and cream cheese, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Stir until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. The scrambled eggs should a bit custardy. If you like your scrambled eggs done more, feel free to adjust by cooking longer for this BEC recipe.

Place the scrambled eggs on the half of the bagel without cheese, place bacon on top, and add the half with melted cheese on top. Serve hot.

Related Articles

More by Lorenzo Manuali

Review: The Barcelona Paella Experience 
Lorenzo Manuali’s Kaiserschmarrn Recipe 
A Hutspot Recipe by Lorenzo Manuali

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