30 March 2011

English Muffin Melt (Bagel Mania Melt)

Oh, my sweet, sweet, Bagel Mania. How I miss you. Never in a million years would I have guessed a Jersey girl like myself would love a bagel shop in Central Maine. I would have even put money on it!

When I moved from New Jersey to Maine, for the first time in my life, I realized, I may never again be able to find pizza that meets my standards. I will never again be able to find a bagel that meets my standards. What do you mean, you've never ate a buttered roll for breakfast? What do you mean you don't eat Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese sandwiches everyday on your commute to work?

I realize that never is forever. But for a long time, that's how it felt until I tried that famous bagel shop in Augusta, Maine. One bite and I was hooked. It was my one restaurant that made me feel at home. I loved that they would sell out of bagels by noon. I loved that they made anything I wanted to order. I loved that they carried Boar's Head products (the only place in the area that I could find it). And you know what? Their bagels were awesome.

I may have told you stories about my bringing Jersey pizza (and strombolis, and calzones) with me up to Maine so I could freeze it and eat it later. I may have told you that I drove 2 pizzas down with me to Florida (and I'm proud of it!)! These bagels were so good that when my parents moved to Vermont, whenever I would visit them, I would bring them bags of bagels to freeze (and a cooler of lobsters of course!). I have no shame traveling with food.

Once again I'm making a long story short. Thanks for sticking through it. My point was... Bagel Mania had this open faced bagel sandwich that my sister would order every time she came to visit me. It was called The Bagel Mania Melt. It was a bagel of your choice, toasted, topped with pesto, tomato, and cheese of your choice. Simple, right? But so, so delicious!

Since I rarely eat bagels down here in the land of NO bagels (I need to start cooking them myself), I just transform this delicious simplicity onto an english muffin. I'll add things too, like hot peppers or onions or sliced turkey or anything I feel like.

I know I don't usually do these step by step photos, because honestly, it takes a shit ton of work unless you are able to cook in the middle of the day near a super huge window. And it's kinda funny that the day I do a step by step phone, it's for a recipe that you definitely don't need a step by step photo for. You probably don't even need a recipe either, but let's give it a go!

First step. Preheat your broiler. Toast your bread/bagel/english muffin. You want to make sure it's crispy all around before topping it. No soggy bread allowed!!! I use a slice of tin foil so I can just toss everything out when I'm done. No dishes!!!
After toasted, your going to slather on some delicious pesto. Homemade if you can!
And then top with tomato. I know, those are sad looking tomatoes. But I'll work with what I have. Add other ingredients at this point if using.
Top generously with cheese that melts well. My favorite is pepper jack for this. Something with a little heat.
Pop it under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly! Be careful not to burn the edges of your bread. You can play it safe by making sure the whole thing is covered in cheese. That's often what I'll do...play it safe by adding more cheese.
Final step. Eat. It'll be delicious, simple, and you'll wish you had more. I often eat this for a late breakfast/early lunch on my days off. And I have been known to serve it for dinner on those express nights!
What? You need a formal recipe? That's crazy! But, here you go!

English Muffin Melt (Bagel Mania Melt)
By Kacey's Kitchen, Inspired by Bagel Mania
  • One english muffin, bagel, or slice of bread
  • Pesto
  • Tomato slices
  • Pepperjack cheese, sliced
  1. Preheat broiler. Toast bread. Leave broiler on.
  2. Slather bread with pesto.
  3. Top with tomato.
  4. Top with slices of cheese.
  5. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.


  1. This post cracked me up! I'm a Jersey girl too and complain daily about the lack of bagels, pizza, taylor ham and decent chinese food around here!!! Whenever I go home to my parents I never request a home cooked meal. Instead, I request Suvios pizza, a dozen bagels and one night of General Tso's chicken. What part of Jersey are you from?

  2. Northwest - Hopatcong to be exact! Give me a shout at kacey@kaceyskitchen.com to chat some more if you'd like! Where are you from?

  3. I live in the land of no bagels and no English muffins (there are bagels here, but they shouldn't go by that name), but we do have lovely store bought pesto (see today's post on that!) and the homemade stuff is pretty authentic. So, since I have been seeing recipes for English muffins and bagels around, I will have to try making them now. Oh, I travel from the NY with food in my bags too. And you sound like a typical Italian, they are always carrying food when travelling.

  4. So true! No English Muffins? I've never heard of such a thing! Have you tried making your own? I have not yet, but want to, just to try it.

  5. Yup, no English muffins in Italy. I recently saw a recipe for them, but have not yet worked up the guts to make them.

  6. Don't worry. I'm eating enough Bagel Mainea for you.

  7. ooh, these look delicious! Your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for leaving a comment on my site!