Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vaguely Followed Recipe

Although I no longer have cable, or indeed television of any kind (those boxes don't actually work), when I did have cable I loved watching the Food Network. Alton Brown's Good Eats was one of my favorites -- because once you know the science behind why bits of stuff do what they do in a recipe -- you don't have to be so uptight about following the recipe.

I am all about not following the recipe.

Which explains my French Toast Recipe. For the people who still want to be uptight about it Alton Brown's original French toast recipe is here.

To begin with I doubled it. Who only makes eight slices of French toast at a time? The stuff freezes. Make as much as possible in one fell swoop and pretend the leftovers are pre-packaged, ready-made, 1-2 minutes in the microwave, frozen convenience from the store French toast.

My General Instructions for French Toast:

2 cups dairy -- this for me is usually organic skim milk, but I've been known to use up heavy whipping cream before it goes off, and once I didn't have quite enough milk so I whipped in some sour cream.

6 eggs -- this is pretty much going to be chicken eggs (but if I ever get a flock of quail...)

4 tablespoons of a sweetener -- I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners, but I've used honey, granulated sugar, raw sugar, maple syrup, jelly that didn't jell properly (gives it a nice fruity flavor)

and I add a sploosh of vanilla usually.
That's the custard. Well, once it's all mixed together it's the custard.

The bread -- anything from the heel end of a store-bought pumpernickel loaf to leftover from-scratch dinner rolls -- gets dipped in and coated on both sides. The amount of bread needed changes based on the type of bread used. A stale scone simply doesn't suck up the custard the same way cheap wonder-loafs do.

Then "fry." I don't use butter (or oil, or cooking spray, or shortening, or margarine) on my skillet -- because I have a wonderfully old, properly seasoned, cast iron skillet that doesn't need to be greased-up. If you have non-stick pans you know how convenient this can be -- of course with non-stick pans you have to baby them or they might give you cancer. Cast iron simply keeps you from anemia if you scratch it. I believe I have recommended this before but if you haven't got cast iron cookware... get thee to a flea market and find some.

Serve warm French Toast with syrup and/or fresh fruit.
Just in case you were wondering, that's any fruit, and any syrup (including the liquid jelly that didn't jell).

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