Sunday, September 2, 2007

Mom's Saturday Mornings French Toast



A Damn Good Tasting Breakfast Treat

Here's a favorite of mine from my childhood. My mom used to cook this in the morning for the family just about every Saturday. It was a breakfast I looked forward to the whole freakin' week.

People always thought that I played Pop Warner (little league) football better that day because of the “energy” this meal gave me. Yeah, yeah, I must admit that the sugar rush did help initially, but it was mostly my astounding athletic ability that catapulted me above the other “earthling opponents.” (Smile)

Anyway, I learned to cook this meal while still in grade school (with my mom's help) and through the years I've, you might say, “made it my own.” Whether you've got a sweet tooth or not, or you just don't mind indulging once-in-a-while in a damn good tasting breakfast, then people, “I've Got Something to Put in Your Mouth.”

Ingredients:
Eggs – I like to use 1 egg for every 2-3 pieces of French Toast when I make it.
Nutmeg (powder) – the first of three ingredients that are on this list are some of the greatest aromas on earth to live for.
Cinnamon (powder) – the second great aroma.
Milk – Use whole milk if you can, but if you need to use 2% or less, you'll be fine.
Vanilla Extract (pure) – the third great aroma on earth to live for.
Toppings – Aahh yes, this is where I (or you) can go ape nuts with this, and let me tell you, I have many a time. You can add strawberries, blackberries, peach slices, banana slices, or my favorite “special” topping – which I'll tell you more about later.
Maple Syrup – The pure stuff. I use the brand Spring Tree 100% Pure, All Natural maple syrup, grade A dark amber.

Whatever your brand choice, please use the pure stuff. It makes a big difference when you pour that warm syrup over those perfectly cooked juicy pieces of French Toast and oohh baby, . . . I better stop. I'm getting a French Toast fix right about now, so let's move on.

Butter – We're talking real butter here. But if you need to cut down on it, use the “lighter” butter.
Sliced Bread – My choice is the 7-9 grain whole wheat bread that are the soft slices. (I don't like the hard slices for this recipe.)
Sausage – This is optional. You can either have patties or links. It's up to you.

How To Make It:
This recipe is for 2-3 pieces of French Toast. Make needed adjustments for ingredient portions according to taste and number of servings.

1. Get a mixing bowl. The size of the bowl you'll use will depend on how many pieces of French Toast you are going to make. For me a small – medium bowl will work because I'll make 2-3 pieces to put in my pie hole.

I like to use a mixing bowl with somewhat of a flat bottom to it so that the bread can soak up the batter without having to move the bread around too much when placed in the bowl.

2. To make the batter, crack the eggs in the bowl and add the nutmeg and cinnamon. I like to use about 4-5 good shakes of each spice.

3. Then add about 1/4 to 1/2 cups or more of milk and mix very well with a fork or a whisk. Make sure those eggs are broken up all the way. I personally rather not see any white from the eggs on my French Toast while it's cooking.

(The reason for the amount of milk that I mention is because I like my bread pieces soaked well in the batter and really soggy. Some people don't like it that way, so I say start with less milk and then you can always add more milk to the batter according to need.

Also, if you later need to add more milk, you may want to add more nutmeg and cinnamon as well since you might lose the “full flavor” of these spices with more milk added to the batter mix.)

4. Now add a good quick dash of the pure vanilla extract. It doesn't take much for this exotic liquid to bring flavor to this dish.

5. Mix all the ingredients well but make sure you don't over do it. Just mix it well enough so that everything is blended together nicely. We don't want it to look all bubbly. We're not making whipped topping here.

6. Cut any toppings you desire and put them to the side for now. They will be ready to be put atop the French Toast when all the cooking is done.

7. Get your pure maple syrup set it aside. The moment the cooking is done, have the syrup warmed (I use a microwave rather than heating it up on the stove)and pour it over the golden entrée.

8. Use a 10-12 inch (or bigger if you've got it) non-stick skillet or fry pan and put it on a middle to high heat setting. If you don't want the bread to cook quickly on the outside, leaving the inner portion of the bread to remain soft, then set your stove to a lower setting.

9. Coat the entire bottom of the skillet with butter. Keep that butter close at hand as you may be using it more than once. Once the butter has melted and the skillet and nice and hot, start soaking the pieces of bread in the batter to your liking.

10. Tilting the spatula slightly to drain any excess batter from the bread, put the bread piece(s) in the skillet and watch this new tasty breakfast treat come into fruition before your very eyes.

(Note: you may want to have a splatter guard to cover the skillet just in case you have some “spitting” from the skillet. I know I need it because I have my heat setting on high when I cook this.)
Cuisipro 11.5-in. Round Splatter Guard with Feet

While cooking, check the bottom of the bread piece(s). When they have cooked to your liking, turn over the bread slice(s). You may want to add more butter so that the skillet stays slightly coated.

Because I love my bread slices to be soggy, I will see that the down side of the slices are dark, dark brown first before I flip the slices over, making sure there is ample butter on the skillet for them to slip and slide in.

11. When all your slices of bread are cooked and delicately placed on the plate that is graced to have such a noble breakfast resting upon it, pour your warm amber sweet syrup upon it and then add your favorite selected toppings that you pre-cut earlier.

Aahh, you thought I forgot about my favorite “special” topping I mentioned earlier. I did not, my curious friend.

Warning!! You may not want to put what I put on the top of this mound of food, but if you think you can handle it, be my guest.

12. The finishing touch, the ultimate crown topping to this meal is 1-2 scoops of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream!! Nothing beats that brand of ice cream for me.

This is the time to shut off the TV, radio, computer and all that is around you in the world and eat with honored reverence, “Mom's Saturday Mornings French Toast.”

And the cheering of the crowd swells as another touchdown is scored! Enjoy.


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27 comments:

jack24 said...

Wow! I love this dish just by reading about it.

Great writing. Very enjoyable.
Keep up the good work.

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