Adventures in the kitchen: Simple french toast. « blogging for burgers

Adventures in the kitchen: Simple french toast.

The best thing about this internet thingy is that I can perfectly contradict myself and there’s no one to stop me.  So after yesterday’s post about food crawls, I will make a 180-degree turn and talk about spending more time in the kitchen.  And I’m going to provide what should be the first of many recipes so easy a guy can do them in a pretty typical New York City apartment.

You see, I have recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, and soon I will return to the academic world in pursuit of higher income, I mean, higher intellectual exploits.  While this is going to be awesome, it is also going to put a real damper on my restaurant consumption.

And by “damper,” I mean, pretty much “eliminate.”

So this is a great opportunity to refine some of my skills in the kitchen.  It will afford me the time to make things from scratch, and making things from scratch will more importantly be affordable in my new tax bracket.

The bulk bins at Fairway are my new best friends.

From that, you all are going to see a slew of posts dedicated to “adventures in ___ making.”  It has started with pizza, but look forward to some new ones featuring topics such as ice cream and bread.  And a few more step-by-steps than before.  And hopefully more tantalizing food pictures.

I’m looking forward to it, and I hope you are, too.

How about we kick it off with a couple of quick ones?

French toast so easy a dude can make it (me)

Way back when, Burgergal made challah from scratch for hanukkah (aka, chonika).  She used a recipe featured on Smitten Kitchen, and it was awesome.  Now, six months later, we had a frozen unbaked loaf of challah.  What to do, what to do?

We baked it.

And made awesome sandwiches, very similar to the short rib sandwiches that we made a while back.  But then we had some bread leftover.  What to do, what to do…

How about some challah french toast?  Ok!

Doesn’t it look professional?  Yeah, I know, I am pretty awesome.  But you can be, too!  It’s easy, and it definitely impresses the ladies.

Recipe for super easy french toast.

Ingredients (makes enough for 2 people, about 6 slices)

  • Bread, preferably something on the thicker side (and something sweet is always nice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (any kind will do, but whole milk is probably best)
  • Confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)
  • Maple or pancake syrup (or whatever you like)
  • Butter (as much or as little as you like)

The beauty of this recipe is that it gives you a creamy interior with a crusty exterior.  It tastes like it takes a long time, but it’s super easy.  Served with some bacon on the side, you look like a champ.

– Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  We’re gonna be putting the french toast in there later to cook off, almost like a thick piece of meat.

– In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.  Pour the mixture into a baking dish.

– Place the toast into the mixture and let it sit for a couple of minutes.  Then flip the toast over and give them another couple of minutes.  Now, the key part: put the toast on a rack and let it chill out.  This helps keep the outside less eggy and goopy and reduces clumping when the toast hits the pan, and it also gives some time for the mixture to get into every nook and cranny.  I always used to make the mistake of quickly dredging the toast and immediately placing them in a pan with butter.  That’s what I grew up on, and it’s really not very good.  I didn’t know any better until an old episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown made french toast the right way.  Since then, I’ve been converted.

– In a large non-stick pan (or non-non-stick, if you wish), heat up the butter until it starts to smell fragrant.  Place the toast in and cook until browned on both sides.  Work in batches and throw the slices on a baking pan.  Place the pan in the oven and cook them for about 10 minutes.  You’re pretty much done at this point, but the key is again to let the toast rest on a rack once it’s come out of the oven.  This will prevent the residual heat from steaming the bottom side and getting soggy (similar to how toast gets soggy when put on a plate straight from the toaster).  You can also garnish the toast with confectioner’s sugar at this point, which is nice because the sugar melts a bit.

That’s it!  Plate up those bad boys and call it a morning (or early afternoon).

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