Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kitchen Tales - Part 2 French Toast

So, anytime the husband is away I get a little freaked out.  For no reason, really.  We have an amazing security system and a gun (so don't get any funny ideas).  I just don't like it when he is away and I have trouble sleeping.  This leads to very long nights watching far too much tv to distract me from the fact that I am on my own.

That being said - much of the late night television watching is about food.  People making food, people talking about how to make food or how food is made or the random competition on who makes the best food.  I happened upon an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay".  Bobby Flay is not my favorite.  I cannot tell you why that is as I have no idea.  I thought maybe it was the unfortunate influence of South Park and it's reference to Ginger's...though I hope not as it appears so far Thing 2 is looking like a Ginger.  I may have to work that out.
Anyhoo - this episode was about French Toast.  Who doesn't like French Toast?  Seriously.  I have been intimidated by French Toast - how to get the outsides crispy and have the insides not taste all soft and gummy like wallpaper paste.  It just so happened that my most recent Food Network magazine had an article about French Toast and how to remedy that exact problem.  It was kismet.  I paid attention to the show and tried to memorize what I thought were the key points.  Next AM - French Toast time. 
Well - almost.  In the episode they spoke of the best kinds of bread to use - Challah was the favorite.  On a grocery trip for more eggs, syrup and some fresh fruits to top the Toast, I looked in the bakery.  Much to my chagrin - no Challah.  What's a girl to do?  Make your own bread.  I cheated a little and used my trusty bread machine, so our French Toast would have to wait a day.

I gathered up all the necessary ingredients:
 1.5 cups milk, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp nutmeg, 4 eggs and a loaf of challah

I dredged the bread and then popped them into the skillet with about a 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  Crisped up the outsides and then set aside on a baking sheet.
On the Throwdown episode the competitor had coated his slices in a combination of crushed corn flakes and almonds for a touch of fancy.  I tried this and it did not work out so well for me.  This could be because I forgot about it until the last minute and may or may not have crushed these items to an appropriate tinyness.  Oh well - all the others worked out well.
Once I had all the slices nice and crunchy from the skillet they were sent to the 350 degree over for about 15-20 minutes to finish cooking all the way through.  Genius right?  I thought so- that magazine really is worth the subscription price.  Really.

While the toast was finishing up in the oven, I got my frozen fruit, about a tablespoon of butter and a 1/4 cup of maple syrup (we use sugar free - since Thing 1 is already a nutbag and really needs no extra sugar)
I let this simmer til it heated the fruit through and the "sauce" started to reduce just a bit.  Then I put it and about 4 ounces of cream cheese in the blender.
Once done, it really looked lovely...
And to hear my biggest fan in the kitchen tell you - it tasted better than it looked!

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