Thursday, August 6, 2009

the best french toast. ever.

Weekend mornings are relished in my house. Ideally they involve sleeping in, strong coffee, playing with the pup and making breakfast. Usually in that order. If you know me, you know breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I would skip every other meal just to have breakfast. While I don't always eat a big breakfast, often a piece of toast is just enough, I never miss at least having a little something. I love making breakfast almost as much as I love eating it. I would host brunch for 20 in a heartbeat over dinner for 8. There's something about the combination of savory and sweet and planning a meal that's going to last way into the afternoon, and sometimes evening, that gets me a little giddy.

Recently I picked up Molly Wizenberg's new book, A Homemade Life. I first came across her via Orangette, her weekly blog and musings on food. She's a bit of a renaissance woman, with a degree in human biology, French and cultural anthropology. She writes for Bon Appetit, NPR, PBS, Seattle weekly among others. And if that isn't enough, she, alongside her husband (who she met via her blog) have just opened a new restaurant called Delancey in Seattle. Many meals in my home have been inspired by her recipes and antics, you can't help but love her.

I'm a 1/3 of the way through her book and have made 3 recipes so far, all with a great story. Each thing I made was exactly what I was hoping it would be.
One in particular I want to share, hope she doesn't mind. You'll have to pick up the book to see the rest.

Burg's French Toast
makes 6 to 8 slices
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Canola or other flavorless oil for frying
6 to 8 slices of day old bread cut on the diagonal 3/4" thick
Pure maple syrup


Break the eggs into a wide, shallow bowl. Flat bottom works best here but a bowl will do. Whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and whisk to blend.

Place a heavy large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat, and pour enough oil to completely coat the bottom of the skillet. By completely coat, she means, this isn't the breakfast where you are watching your calorie or fat consumption. This is what makes the french toast the best french toast ever. The only regret you might have with this recipe would be not following the instructions regarding the oil amount. Heat the oil until, when tested with a quick splash of water or egg batter, it sizzles. Then it's ready.

While the oil is heating put a few slices of bread into the egg mixture allowing them to rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. They should feel heavy and saturated but not to the point where they are falling apart. Once fully saturated, carefully place each piece in the skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes before flipping. Flip when they have reached a golden brown. If the bread starts to burn before it turns golden, turn the heat down. You don't want smoking. Once each side is browned remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

I like to serve my toast with fresh blueberries, thick cut smoked bacon, warm maple syrup (the real stuff) and a big iced coffee. I'm sure strawberries, peaches or bananas would be just as great as would chicken apple sausage.

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