One of the recipes made more than once is the pancake recipe, but I am going to talk about the lesser made but still made more than once recipe, Orange French Toast. I love orange so much that I've been told I need to stop putting orange flavors in about 97% of the things I bake, so it makes sense why this gets tops over pancakes.
The custardy base is pimped out with the addition of freshly squeezed orange juice and the grated rind, and I've found out that the addition of a small amount of freshly grated nutmeg enhances the flavor tremendously.
Whilst cooking these up (which my brother was making for a late lunch/early dinner) I thought about the Frenched toast recipe from A Homemade Life, Molly from Orangette's book where she talks about how her dad makes French toast. She says the only way to really cook it is in a decent amount of butter, as it helps to caramelize the custard-soaked bread and lends a buttery accent. I should make sure I'm remembering this correctly, though now you can go read the book and find out for yourself if I am, indeed, correct. Seriously, this was a great book that I highly recommend.
Anyhow, I didn't remember quite how much butter-per-slice she used, though I just added a decent sliver of butter to the pan with each new slice. As a side note, this should be served almost immediately after removing from the pan because it sort of "falls" if you hold it back, not to mention you're missing that instantaneous crispy hot outtards that you bite through to the silky innards.
Second side note, what peeves me the most about when people (and you know who you are -- no, I'm not passively aggressively speaking to my bro) are stingy with the custard and only very lightly dip the bread in so that it gets a light coating instead of the custard being thoroughly infused into the very soul of the bread. Then, you slice into the bread with the side of your fork, revealing the top and bottom layer of custard and the middle layer which is only heated bread. FAIL. In caps.
Third and final side note, the heat of the pan is crucial. You need to cook the bread over a high enough flame so that the bread won't sit in a pan of butter and become soggy, yet you want it low enough so that the outside won't cook before the inside does. Don't rush it, and just pay attention to the heat as some pans retain heat more efficiently than others.
Finally, just eat it. I cannot believe I have this many thoughts on French toast, but I take what I eat very seriously, even ramen noodles. And make sure you dust a decently thick coating of confectioners' sugar so that it won't dissolve before you sit down.
Recipe after the jump
Emeril's Favorite French Toast
From Emeril's There's A Chef in My Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyone
Yield ~ 4 servings or 8 (on the Wackford Squeers Diet)
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest (zest the orange first)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 slices bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
Maple syrup or the like
- Preheat oven to 200°. Heat a skillet (preferably two) over medium heat until hot, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Add the milk, orange juice, orange zest, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and whisk until well combined.
- Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in the skillet. Dip a slice of bread into the egg mixture, flipping over to coat both sides (make sure the mixture is infused evenly into the bread). Add a the slice to the skillet, and cook until the bread is golden brown and crusted on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip over and cook about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes longer until the second side is golden.
- Transfer the French toast from the skillet to a wire cooling rack and place in the oven to keep warm whilst you cook the other sides.
- Repeat with remaining slices, being sure to add 1 teaspoon butter to the pan before every slice.
- Sprinkle each plate with confectioners' sugar and serve with syrup.