Saturday, July 26, 2008
French Toast for Breakfast
It is important that, by the time you're grown up enough to have your own kitchen at your disposal (not your mommy's kitchen), you know how to make french toast. As a bachelor, isn't it key to be able to offer breakfast to a date? There's something about the caramelization on the outside and the custardization on the inside that will make a lady want to wake up in your apartment again (not that you necessarily want her to, but that's a different issue).
But hey, I'm married so there's most definitely only one woman I want to woo with the promise of breakfast. Lucky for me my son's favorite breakfast on a saturday morning is Dad's French Toast. Done right, he's mine for the whole day.
Ingredients: Ani's Portuguese Sweet Bread, Eggs (or quality egg substitute), milk, honey, vanilla.
Procedure: Slice sweet bread into 2.5 inch thick pieces and place in 200 deg. oven for a few minutes. You are making the bread stale. In a bowl, mix 2 parts beaten egg with 1 part (or less) milk, a capful of vanilla, and a six count of honey (approximately 2 tablespoons worth). Whisk, then set aside to let the froth settle. Coat cast iron skillet (well seasoned, of course), which has been waiting over medium heat, with butter. My trick is to take a paper towel and run it over the butter substitute in a tub until it's good and loaded, then smear it on the hot pan. Soak each piece of sweet bread well and let drain in your fingers, taking care that it doesn't disintegrate under its own weight. Gently place in skillet with a few others, leaving enough room that you can spatula comfortably. When the heat has cooked the piece just a bit, press down with a spatula to facilitate caramelization. Turn over once after the bottom has crusted brown (trial and error is an essential element here). Remove from skillet and return to 200 deg. oven until ready to serve. Repeat process, including an occasional regreasing of the pan. You can dust the toast with cinnamon, but neither my wife nor son care for this, so I have removed this from the recipe. And powdered sugar is just a bit too Martha Stewart, so I eschew this too.
Today, my son and I had our french toast across the table from each other before we paid a visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum. Actually, he requested it the day before, as he often does on fridays. There are many skills I've carried over from college days to fatherhood, but few as indispensible as this.