Chef Chris Shepherd creates Houston-themed breakfast for competition

(Underbelly/Chris Shepherd)

James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Shepherd from Underbelly is representing Houston in the Hometown Breakfast Battle. It's a national chef recipe contest, with 135 chefs from across the U.S. competing to create America's best breakfast, using Thomas's English Muffins.

Chef Chris Shepherd is known for his hearty dishes that combine the diverse and eclectic flavors of Houston. To represent the Bayou City, Shepherd created the perfect breakfast combo - a Fried Soft Shell Crab, Thick Slab Bacon, 5-minute Egg, Pickeld Red Onion on a Tasted Thomas' English Muffin. He has generously shared the recipe. You can vote for the recipe here: ThomasBreakfastBattle.com

Fried Soft Shell Crab, Thick Slab Bacon, 5-Minute Egg, Pickled Red Onion, Toasted Thomas English Muffin
Recipe Courtesy Chris Shepherd

(Serves 1)

Pickling Liquid Ingredients (for pickled red onion):
2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Distilled Vinegar
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoon Salt
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard Seed
1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Teaspoon Whole All Spice
3 Tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorn
2 oz. Red Onion

Instructions:
1. Put all pickling liquid ingredients, aside from the red onion, in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Cut red onion in thin slices, pour hot pickling liquid over and let sit preferably overnight, at least until cool.

Sandwich Ingredients:
1 Slice Thick Cut Bacon
1 Tablespoon Distilled Vinegar
6 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3 Eggs
1 Soft Shell Crab
1 Cup Breadcrumbs
2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoon Salt
2 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1/2 Cup Milk
Cooking Oil (Enough to coat pan)
1 Thomas' Original English Muffin

Instructions:
1. Bake one slice of thick cut bacon in 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy.
2. Bring water, tablespoon distilled vinegar and teaspoon baking soda to a rolling boil.
3. Place one room temperature egg into water, boil for exactly 5 minutes. (Make sure the water is boiling the entire time.)
4. After 5 minutes, place in a small bowl with ice and water to shock egg/stop cooking process. Peel egg and serve egg cut in half.
5. Whisk together remaining eggs
6. Dredge crab in flour, place in egg wash, then coat in breadcrumbs.
7. Fry crab in 350 degree oil until dark and crispy, about 6 minutes.
8. Serve one crab on a toasted Thomas' Original English Muffin with one slice of bacon, one egg and 2 oz pickled red onions.
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