As a young bride I made French Toast at least three times a week. The whole time I was cursing and berating myself for not paying enough attention to what my mom was doing in the kitchen and for not learning from her while I had the chance instead of grumbling while making the family salad. So, when I was forced to feed myself and my new hubby, I turned often to breakfast for dinner. Again and again. Bread soaked in custard – who can screw that up? So, over and over again I soaked bread and slapped it in a pan and then slathered it with butter and syrup. It was a mainstay, and my sweet eternal companion choked it down, smiled and loved me anyway.
But in the last ten years, I have been culinarily reborn. I have become adventurous, yes, even daring in the kitchen. My latest food fetish is savory French Toast. Why not savory? Really, is French Toast required to be soaked in sugary syrup or piled with sugar and fruit and whipped cream? Bread soaked in custard is pretty much a blank canvas, so why not paint it with savory flavors?
I wrote a little French Toast cookbook a few years ago, and I made a cheddar crusted French Toast, which was yummy, but tricky to get just right on the crust without burning the cheddar. So, I don’t hassle with that very often.
Recently I discovered THE CURE: Parmesan cheese! ((Parmesan is the chocolate of the savory world. Parmesan, like chocolate, cures so many things, does it not?)) Like a ray of sunshine beaming down with angelic choirs singing, Parmesan has refreshed my culinary soul once again!
Parmesan makes the perfect crust for French Toast, because it is a hard cheese. It makes more of a crunchy “crust” than, say, soft melty cheddar. I made this delicious savory version with a little roasted tomato garnish. You could use marinara instead. Either way, this makes an almost effortless dinner -perfect for busy Meatless Mondays!
We here at FFF are no strangers to turning sweet breakfast foods into savory dinners: remember our cornbread waffle chili stacks?
I love the new food trend of making savory oatmeal – featured in a post on Blogher. Hey! If folks can make savory oatmeal, I say – Why Not Savory French Toast?!
SAVORY PARMESAN CRUSTED FRENCH TOAST
Serves 4; Total time 5 minutes
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 day-old baguette, sliced into 8 1/2 inch slices
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
In a loaf pan, whisk together milk and flour. Whisk in eggs and a pinch of salt.
Soak bread slices two at a time in egg mixture for 10 seconds on each side.
Spread cheese on a plate. Press soaked bread slices into cheese, pressing down slightly so that cheese sticks to both sides of bread slices.
Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Lightly spray with oil and then put four bread slices in pan. Cover with a lid and let cook about one minute per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Cook remaining bread slices the same way.
Serve immediately with marinara sauce, or a roasted cherry tomato and garlic compote, if desired (recipe follows).
Roasted Cherry Tomato and Garlic Compote: Cut 4 cups of cherry tomatoes in half and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in 3 cloves chopped garlic. Bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with 1/4 cup diced parsley or basil leaves. Taste and add salt and pepper or a little sugar if tomatoes are bitter.
Other brave bloggers do savory French Toast:
Savory French Toast, Never Enough Thyme
Savory French Toast Bites, Cookin’ Canuck
Cornbread French Toast, Food 52
Savory Cheese and Chive Bread, Food Librarian
French Toad in the Hole, Amateur Gourmet
Pumpkin Ricotta French Toast, Fresh Family Cooking
— posted by Donna