new takes on toast

18 March, 2010 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

I’ve been sitting on these two recipes for weeks now and I almost feel guilty about it, they are so good. We are big fans of breakfast for dinner (b4d!) and weekend brunches around here, but I have to admit that as tasty as they are, things like scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, and even breakfast burritos get a bit tired after awhile. These two breakfasts, tartiflette toast and french toast with oats and almonds were a complete breath of fresh air.

For those of you who may not have had it before, traditional tartiflette is a French dish from Savoie made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, and lardons with cream– essentially, a jacked up potato gratin with ham/bacon and cheese flavors. The tartiflette on toast idea, which we saw demo-ed on an episode of River Cottage Winter’s on the Way, is a low-maintenance way of taking those tasty tartiflette flavors and making a hearty open faced sandwich out of them. The results are really delicious and easy to whip up. It is a fabulously filling way to get a satisfying breakfast on one piece of toast, and it is just as easy to make for two as it would be to make for a crowd (you could simply increase the quantities and make a big skillet full of potato/bacon mixture, then make a bunch of toast and voila!).

As for the french toast, the idea for a crunchy oat coating came from Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe cookbook. Sometimes regular french toast can be a bit squishy-squishy for me, and this coating was the ideal antidote to that. On the griddle, the almonds and oats get all toasty and buttery and the flavors go fabulously with syrup. Om nom. Next time you are thinking of french toast or pancakes, get your hands on some oats and almonds and try this. You’ll be glad you did!

Tartiflette Toast
Adapted from River Cottage Winter’s on the Way
Serves 2

2 slices of good bread
1 large or 2 small yukon gold potatoes, microwaved or baked until softened
2 strips of bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup diced onion
Drizzle of cream (or milk)
Handful of shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Cook potatoes, then cut into bite size pieces, leaving skin on. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook bacon pieces and diced onion until just starting to brown. Toss in potato chunks and stir around in rendered bacon juices until they are golden brown and crisping up (you can add a touch of canola oil or butter if there is not enough rendered fat). Then drizzle in a little swirl of cream and let it bubble away for a minute. Toss in the handful of cheese, and stir to melt and bring it all together. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Toast your bread, then divide mixture evenly between the two slices. Serve immediately, open faced!

French Toast with Almonds and Oats
Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe
Serves 2-4 (depending on if you’re having anything else for breakfast and how big your bread slices are)

8 thick slices of french bread
3 eggs
3 T milk
1/8 tsp vanilla
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a wide shallow bowl or deep plate, beat eggs and milk with a fork until well mixed.  Add vanilla and cinnamon, and mix again. In a second plate, mix oats and almonds together with your fingers.

Preheat griddle over medium high heat (around 400 degrees).  Soak slices of bread in egg mixture, then dredge them in the oats and almonds, pressing if necessary to get an even coating. Continue until all slices are prepped.

Grease the griddle surface with a little butter.  Arrange slices of bread on the griddle and cook, turning to get them golden brown on both sides and cooked through so it’s not soggy.

Serve hot with your favorite french toast fixins– they are tasty with just some butter and powdered sugar, but we like them with syrup to add a little gooeyness to the crunchy coating.

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