Friday, January 2, 2009

i now present to you...

...the recipe for the best french toast you will ever make. you may never need to go out for brunch again.

1.5 cup half-and-half (or, literally, 2/3 cup milk and 2/3 cup cream)
4 eggs, beaten together
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
loaf of challah bread (or brioche or other thirsty bread), sliced thick and left out overnight if possible - about 8 one-inch slices
4 tablespoons butter

-first things first. preheat the oven to 375. set up a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet (lined with foil if possible, trust me) and keep it nearby.

-microwave the honey for 20 seconds so it will be really liquidy and then add it to the eggs, stirring well. add the half-and-half, vanilla, and salt and stir well again.

-putting the batter in a pie plate to soak the bread really helps, so do that if you have one. soak each slice for about 30 sec on each side, then move it to the cooling rack so it can drip off excess. let them sit for a minute or two then continue.

-melt a tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick pan on medium-low heat, and fry two slices until golden brown, 2-3 min per side. place back on rack. repeat with a new tablespoon of butter and another two slices until done.

-put the whole rack-and-baking-sheet contraption, with the slices on top, into the oven for five minutes. now the inside will be cooked too. eat immediately, with syrup if you want. i think slightly-sweetened creme fraiche would also have been delicious.

this may be a little shocking, but the recipe comes courtesy of the food network, plus a few little tweaks. most of that channel and its media associates make me drool out my brain cells, but alton brown is almost always the exception. i don't make french toast often enough to be good at it, but i knew i'd seen an alton brown episode on french toast so i went hunting for the recipe online; turns out everywhere it's posted it gets rave reviews, too. i had been extremely sick from new year's eve and was still a little wobbly, so melissa did a lot of the work: i soaked, she cooked. it seems like extra work to do the rack setup and the oven step, but like i said, this is the best french toast i have ever (sort of) made, and possibly the best french toast i have ever eaten. thanks melissa!

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