Tuesday, December 15, 2009

French Is Best

Sure, they can be snooty, but most of the time, I feel like the French have good reason to be. I mean, they just do everything so well- they way they eat, the way they dress... It's gotten to the point where people just call great things "French" even when I don't know if the Gauls even really had anything to do with inventing them, like French Fries or, the topic of this post, French toast.
French toast is one of my favorite brunch items. It's perfect for those times when you can't decide between bready pancakes or eggs for breakfast- why not combine the two elements and then top it with whipped cream and syrup? Sounds like a solution we can all get behind.
It's also a great festive breakfast for a holiday morning or (as we had this weekend) when you have weekend guests. I've been making French toast since my high school sleepovers (yeah, I was already this twee back then), but I recently discovered a great "grown up" orange-liqueur-tinged version on Simply Recipes that I combined with my old standby to create my new go-to recipe. The booze lends a delicious rich flavor, but cooks off, so feel free to toss back another mimosa. Happy Holidays! Or rather, Joyeuses FĂȘtes!

Orange French Toast

(serves 4)

You Will Need:

4 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh grated orange rind
1/4 cup triple sec
A pinch of salt
A loaf of crusty french bread or baguette sliced into 3/4" pieces - stale bread is okay.

1. Beat eggs, and combine them with the milk, cinnamon, orange rind, salt, and triple sec in a bowl.
2. Arrange bread in the bottom of a rimmed baking pan, and pour egg mixture on top. If making in advance, cover with foil or saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, allow to soak for a few moments.
3. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or frying pan, over medium heat. Add the toast slices in batches (as many as will fit), and cook on each side until browned and aromatic, about 3 minutes to a side.
4. Top with fresh whipped cream, maple syrup and fresh berries (because fruit makes it healthy!).

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