Monday, March 07, 2005

pain perdu

two weekends ago, i had the best french toast i have ever had. i feel it necessary to give a shout out to jane, on houston, whose brioche french toast was the perfect consistency, practically a souffle in the middle. the other brunch selections are also terrific, including eggs with cheese grits (i'll eat cheese grits for pretty much any meal of the day). this probably explains the long lines for brunch (that and the complimentary cocktail). not exactly my crowd, and the ambiance does nothing for me, but i will be back for that heavenly french toast.

"pain perdu" is the french name for french toast. it means "lost bread," and probably refers to the fact that it's a good use for old bread that you would no longer want to eat plain.

i myself make challah french toast that'll suffice for the home chef. it's my rendition of the french toast in the "fields of greens" cookbook.


eggs (usually about 2-3 per person)
a splash of OJ (the cookbook said orange zest, but i'm more likely to have OJ around than an actual orange)
a splash of vanilla
a large shake or two of cinnamon
day (or two) old challah

like all things made in a skillet or on a griddle, the second batch always has the perfect exterior, first batches are so hard to get right. there's a metaphor for life somewhere in there.

1 comment:

Pep said...

I avoid that not so fresh second batch feeling by cutting the challah nice and thick, giving it all a quick brown in the skillet and then putting all the toasts in the oven to cook through in the center. This variation also allows everyone to eat together, even you!, when cooking for a crowd.