Monday, January 11, 2010

french toast success

oven baked amaretto pannetone french toast

Despite my doing a totally half assed job, this boozy baked french toast recipe came out pretty awesome. No measurements, just milk, beaten organic food co-op eggs, some cheap ass amaretto, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and a dash of salt mixed together and poured over buttered slices of pattetone. I was deathly afraid it would be too dry/too boozy, but instead got the slam dunk breakfast I had hoped for.

I love when a yummy french toasty is all crispy on the outside and runny on the inside. Unfortunately it was taking a longer to cook than the prescribed half hour (I kept underestimating how hot to set the oven) so I popped it under the broiler to finish off and the edges on one side started to burn a little. Minor damage, but still a shame. I normally would have been more patient, but Laura needed to leave for work so I tried a short cut. Unless your bread is at very even levels in your pan, I don't recommend the broiler for this one.

That being said, the broiler is a new-found love of mine. My mom doesn't have a broiler in her stove at home, because there is a drawer for storing pots and pans under the oven. I'd broiled things in the toaster oven, so I knew that broiling meant that the heat was coming only from above, but I only recently discovered/realized that the drawer under my oven is meant to serve as its broiler.

My stove is an ancient gas range which I have to light manually by lighting the pilot and then opening the bottom drawer and lighting the burner there, which is prone to ignite in a rather explosive manner if the gas is left running for more than a few seconds. I never would have thought to cook anything in that bottom drawer had it not been for witnessing my Aunt Cathy utilizing her similarly designed broiler to cook our beloved garlic sweet potatoes, from Mark Bittman's first Thanksgiving column in the New York Times, dating all the way back to 1997. My broiler can crisp things up pretty fast, so you've got to keep an eye on it, but it is pretty darn useful! I'm a little embarrassed it took me so long to discover it, but I'm sure glad that I have!

fruit studded french toast

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