Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sweetheart French Toast

(makes about 12 3-inch hearts)
1 can (370 ml) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch kosher salt
6 slices sourdough bread

In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Slice bread into triangles, or cut into heart shapes using a cookie cutter, and dip into egg mixture.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and add a pat of butter. Brown toast on both sides and serve with butter and your favourite syrup.

Notes: Using evaporated milk, which is thicker than milk by a factor of about four, coats the bread beautifully instead of sogging into it like a sponge. Bread choice is also important. A sturdy sourdough loaf or challah will hold up when wet. Sandwich slices will always disappoint.

Oatmeal Pancakes with Bananas and Raisins

1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
3 tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
2 bananas, mashed
2 tbs butter, melted

In a medium bowl, whisk together first 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, eggs and vanilla. Combine wet mixture with dry until just blended. Fold in bananas, raisins and melted butter.

Brush a griddle, set over medium-low heat, with vegetable oil or melted butter. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top and bottoms are golden. Turn over and cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side.

Apple Oat Bran Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups oat bran
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
6 tbs canola oil
1 Fuji (or other) apple

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a second large bowl, whisk together eggs brown sugar, milk and canola oil. Add to the dry mixture and bring together with a fork until just combined.

Core and cut apple into 8ths, then thinly slice. Fold into batter. Divide batter into 12 prepared or lined regular muffin tins and bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from pans onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Bubble and Squeak (serves 4)

2 cups peeled and diced rutabaga
2 cups peeled and carrots, peeled and diced
12 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 1/2oz butter
1 bunch kale (or 14 oz Brussels sprouts or Savoy cabbage) finely sliced

Bring a large pot of boiling, salted water to a boil and cook the rutabaga for about 10 minutes. Add the carrot and continue to cook until tender, then drain. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook potatoes. Drain and allow the vegetables to steam off some of their moisture.

Mash or run cooked veg through a food mill (the latter is preferable if you have one).

In a non-stick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the kale and cook about 3 minutes. Add the mashed veg. Fry, patting together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring every minute, until hot throughout and beginning to take on a golden crust.

Parsnip and Fennel Veloute

about 3 liters homemade or organic chicken stock
1 1/2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced
4 large parsnips, chopped (discard tough core)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered and chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
kosher salt/fresh ground pepper

Note: Keep chicken stock hot on the stove in a separate pot.

Add parsnips and fennel to a medium pot and add stock to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are just barely tender to the tip of a knife (par cooked).

In a large, heavy-bottomed, pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and leeks and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until tender. Add flour and stir to thoroughly coat onions and leeks and cook the flour. Add a couple ladles of stock, stirring, until it’s a thick, bubbly paste. Add the parsnips, leeks and the stock they cooked in, stirring as it comes back up to a simmer. Keep adding ladles of hot stock until you reach a “creamed soup consistency” (no kidding, that’s what he said).

Allow soup to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veg is very soft. Puree, using a hand blender, and return to heat. Add stock, if needed, and season with salt and pepper.

Pictured with a toasted, smoked gruyere "cracker" and apple garnish.