Ready, Set, Go!!! Before you run and take an insulin shot or grab a cup of coffee, take a moment to just allow the goodness of these pictures sink in! As I have been focusing on not only the actions, but also the aesthetics of cooking recently, I have definitely taken some more time to just let the smells linger before I go right in for the kill. My culinary adventure this evening was no different!
Before vacations completely threw us off, Molly and I decided that Sunday nights would be reserved for making breakfast, a favorite dinner time choice of mine. I would even take a gamble and say that if I could eat breakfast at dinner every night, then I would totally do it. Wouldn't you?
Tonight's menu was focused on the joy of French Toast. I had recently gotten an old copy of the Food Network magazine out from April to look at a Hummingbird Cake recipe that I wanted to try out (there will be a blog post on that after Wednesday) and I found this recipe along with a variation.
Whisk 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of half and half or milk, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter over med heat in a skillet.
Now the big choice comes of what type of bread you want to use. I personally enjoy using Texas Toast for French Toast, but the recipe suggested Brioche or Challah. I would love to try those, but I was at the Kroger, and they don't have a great bread selection, so I went with old faithful. Dip your bread into the egg mixture and place in the skillet for about 2-3 minutes per side. Allow the bread to brown but don't let it burn. When it has browned nicely, place it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes to allow it to puff and cook the rest of the way. I had never seen that done before, but I feel like it made the toast fluffier and definitely gave it a nice done taste. Nothing is worse that french toast that tastes too strongly of egg.
For the variation recipe, I added some cinnamon and ginger to the mixture and then doctored up the bread as well. I bought some Lemon Curd and Blueberries and put some lemon curd on one of the slices and dropped a handful of blueberries on top of it and then put another piece of bread on top and dipped it in the mixture and then placed it in the griddle and cooked it as describe above.
Now the real magic happened for the normal french toast by adding some browned butter on top of it as well as some syrup (good ole Mrs. Butterworth (and no Paul, I am not referring to your mother)). Browning butter is simple. Just put a half of a stick of butter in a warm pan and allow it to melt and then cook down until it browns. It does something magical to the butter by bringing out this fantastic flavor in the butter. I loaded the top of the regular french toast with this butter and the syrup and voila, perfect French Toast. And surprisingly enough, it looked just like the pictures in the magazine. One of the few times that has ever happened for me!
For the Lemon-Blueberry French Toast, the recipe recommended dusting the top with some Powdered Sugar, but to be honest, I didn't really feel like that helped. The french toast was heavenly by itself, and I thought the powdered sugar just made it too sweet. Needless to say, we all cleaned our plates tonight, including Ainsley who asked for more Bacon and more French Toast. She is truly my daughter.
I hate to tease, but this week has some great things ahead. Lettuce wraps tomorrow, a hummingbird cake for Wednesday as well as German Chocolate Cake Balls, and a Butterfly Cake for Saturday! Happy times in the kitchen for me. Oh, and I plan on making some Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream tomorrow as well. YAY!!!