Phew, we made it through Passover….LET’S CELEBRATE WITH THE MOST FLOUR/RICE BASED MEAL WE CAN COME UP WITH!
Me, right now.
This French toast is RICH, like super rich, like deliciously rich. As a result this might be the kind of dish you want to save for a brunch with lots of guests you want to impress that aren’t on any particular diet.
The horchata was good too! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Horchata is a real thing? I thought it was a word Vampire Weekend just made up!” But no, it’s a real drink and tastes even better after you’ve been dancing around to the song Horchata like a shoeless hippie at an outdoor music festival. Did I mention the lead singer of Vampire weekend, Ezra Koenig is also Jew-ish?
D’awww don’t be shy, you’re my Jewish celebrity find of the week!
See we’ve come full circle. Some notes on this week;
I couldn’t find cheesecloth to strain the horchata, and I deemed one strainer to be insufficient, so I fashioned this super-efficient double strainer out of two less-efficient single strainers (Alton Brown would be so proud of me). Alas, I still did not find this as effective as I would have hoped so I had to run the mixture through a second time. The moral of this story is I have OCD and you should probably just buy cheesecloth.
Wait until the last possible minute to prepare the praline topping, and work as quickly as possible to spread it on the French toast. I urge you this not because it will go bad in any way, but because this was so damn delicious I wanted to sit down with this bowl and a spoon devour this delicious mixture as is, forgoing all plans for a real breakfast. Don’t let yourself fall into this delicious distraction. If the Candyland board game had some sort of quicksand trap, it would probably be made of this, and you would be stuck there forever, and you would be so happy.
PECAN PRALINE FRENCH TOAST
1 loaf French bread
6 extra-large eggs
3 cups milk (you could also use a combination of milk and cream to make this even richer, I didn’t because I wanted this to be healthier by which I mean we didn’t have any cream in the house)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Generously butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
2. Slice French bread into 1-inch slices and arrange as many as possible in 2 overlapping rows, (I managed about 11 slices).
3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended but not too bubbly.
4. Pour mixture evenly over the bread slices, including where the slices overlap.
5. Cover well and refrigerate overnight.
6. The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Combine all ingredients for praline topping in a medium bowl and blend well. Work fast, see note.
8. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
2/3 cup medium grain rice
1 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds (if you don’t have this exactly it’s fine, what’s important is that the almonds are blanched)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick + extras for garnishing
2 ½ cups hot water
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1. In a large bowl combine rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and water
2. Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Pour the mixture into the blender, add the sugar and blend on high for several minutes, until the mixture is as smooth as possible – there’ll still be a hint of grittiness when you rub a drop between your fingers.
4. Strain through a fine sieve (if yours isn’t very fine, line it with cheesecloth), pressing on the solids until only a dryish pulp remains.
5. Pour into a pitcher, add the remaining 2 cups milk, taste and sweeten with a little more sugar if needed.
6. Serve over ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Toast 6-8, horchata – 3-6 while toast bakes