foodie friday #10

Guest cook Mojo sent me this delectable recipe and the accompanying photos ...

Peach-Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients
1 large peach
blueberries
whipped cream cheese (I think the carton was 6 or 8 oz.)
4 slices wheat bread
3 large eggs
A little each of:
half-and-half
brown sugar
cinnamon
butter
maple syrup (okay, a lot of this)

There is no right way to cook. There are, however, a lot of wrong ways. There are no rules. You figure out what will go together, and cook it using the technique best suited to what you're making. In this case I'd heard about "Stuffed French Toast" at some restaurant or other, and started wondering how you'd go about making such a thing. This is what I came up with.

I knew I wanted to do something with cream cheese and fruit. My first choice would have been strawberries and/or blueberries, but the strawberries at the store I went to were pretty scuzzy, and the blueberries -- what there were of them -- weren't much better. But they had peaches. Big, mutant, giant peaches. So I got some of those to replace the strawberries.



Next item on the list was cream cheese. The purist in me wanted to get the old standard brick of Philly cream cheese, but I opted for the whipped stuff for two reasons: (a) it would be easier to mix the fruit into it without destroying it and (b) it would spread easier on bread that wasn't toasted. As an alternative, you could just go get some cream cheese from the nearest bagel place that's already got your favorite stuff in it. But I wanted the fruit identifiable, so I made my own.



The peaches (as I mentioned) were giant mutant peaches, so I only needed one. I sliced off about 10 thin slices to use for a garnish, then diced up the rest to mix with the berries. Then I folded the fruit into the cream cheese, trying not to puree it in the process. (I was mostly successful.)



Next, I spread the fruit/cream cheese mixture on one slice of bread and dropped a second slice of it on top. (I wound up with about 1/3 too much filling, but it'll be good on bagels, so it's cool.) How much filling you use is up to you, I put it on as heavily as I thought I could and still be able to seal up the sandwich.



When it came time to seal it up, I didn't get real carried away. You could crimp the edges with a fork or something, but I was afraid the chunks of peach might poke holes in the bread if I tried to seal it too tight. SO I just pressed the edges together with my fingers and called it a day, figuring that the egg batter would do the rest of the job for me.



Now everybody I know who makes French toast has their own twist on the egg batter and every one of them swears it's THE best way to make it. And they're all right. The "best" batter is the one you like. I'm gonna tell you how I made mine, but you can figure out your own or uses a different recipe if it suits you. As long as it seals up the bread, you can't really go wrong. I started with 3 large eggs. Some people use egg whites, which is a perfectly acceptable substitute. To that I added enough half-and-half to liquefy the eggs. You can use milk, skim milk, soy milk, or even water if that works for you. The only thing you're trying to do is make the batter more liquid so that it mixes and covers evenly. At this point, you can stop adding stuff to your batter and you'd be perfectly fine. You've got all the required elements. But when I do it, I add a little bit of cinnamon to take the edge off the sweetness and a little bit of brown sugar which does two things: (a) it adds flavor and (b) it caramelizes somewhat as the sandwich cooks which gives it a little crispness on the outside. Normally I'd add a dash of vanilla extract too, but on this particular day I discovered -- too late -- that I was out of it. Once you've got all your ingredients together, whip it up so that everything is blended evenly. Some folks like to whip the bejeebus out of it until it's frothy, but I don't see that as necessary. You're not making an omlette here, and there's really nothing to be gained from the extra work.

Next step is to get your cooking surface hot and melt some butter (or some equivalent of it) on it. I have an electric skillet, which I like because it has actual temperatures on the controls rather than "Low-Medium-High". But if you don't have an electric skillet/griddle, a regular skillet on the stove at a medium/medium-high heat works just fine. The idea is not to brown the outside before the inside is hot.

Once your cooking surface is ready, dip your sandwich in the egg batter making sure you coat it completely. Leave this step until now, otherwise your bread will turn to mush which is not what you want. Then drop your sandwich on the griddle/skillet and brown on both sides. If your skillet isn't too hot, the cream cheese will get kind of gooey-melty and the fruit will be hot -- or warm at least once the outside is brown.



Once that's done, top it with your condiments of choice and eat up. When I did it, I put a smear of butter on top, then artfully arranged the sliced peaches from the first step and topped the whole thing off with maple syrup. But feel free to use whatever suits you.

17 comments:

  1. Wow - so yummy! I am so happy you explained this so thoroughly - I find cooking a real challenge.
    & did I ever tell you I made that Pistachio cake for Ian's birthday & he loved it?
    Anyway, thanks Daryl!
    P.S.
    I haven't heard the word scuzzy in ages... Lol!

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  2. OMG! he cooks, he pens poetry, photos like an angel, is a published author, knows his Jazz AND uses scuzzy appropriately! This looks delectable.

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  3. That's it, I'm coming over for breakfast! My mouth is literally watering now. Thank goodness Jay and I had already planned to go out for brunch this morning (yay for kids in school Friday mornings!) because I don't think a bowl of cheerios would cut it right now...

    -----------------------------------
    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

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  4. Looks great but guess I am too
    lazy to go through the preparations.
    The IHOP down the road will have
    to do.

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  5. Deliciousness! Enjoyed reading the recipe, and I will try this! (On a day I'm not feeding 5 people..)

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  6. Oh great! Now I have to go to the store to get the stuff to try out this recipe since my mouth is watering. Actually you just made my day.

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  7. Daryl, please make these for me the next time I visit. LOL.

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  8. Oops! I had forgotten this was coming up today. Thanks D, you rock!

    The best part of this culinary adventure was having Wendy to share the finished work with. (She loves being my guinea pig. ;-))

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  9. A+ Oh yes the "smear" of butter on top makes it perfect. Delicious!
    Joyce

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  10. Not gluten free - sigh.

    I have my own memories of french toast - but I've never been able to reproduce that taste with rice bread. I gave up trying.

    Memories taste good too.

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  11. Drool! That looks delicious. Have you tried it yet?

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  12. My god, this could go into the book, Daryl's Recipes for the Coming Night of the Republicans. The yummy French toast would take the edge off, especially with a few martinis right after.

    This is quite a post, Daryl. Seriously, you should be proud. And I'll bet there's not a calorie in sight!

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  13. YUM! You know, I swear that my ex-husband is so happy with the woman he's with now because not only does she do home renovations, she also cooks like a chef! Lucky him! I need to find a woman like that...

    Thanks for the recipes and beautiful pictures that are now making me very, very hungry!

    Peace - D

    (LOL - my word verification is "ourgi" - pretty sure Blogger was thinking about food when it generated that ;-)

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  14. Can I come for breakfast? That sounds yummy. I usually top my french toast with a spoonful of cinnamon sugar, butter and syrup. I haven't eaten yet. Thanks for reminding me to get up from the computer and go make some food.

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