Saturday, May 2, 2009

The best I've ever had!

In my family, no one can describe a dish as "the best I've ever had", because my grandpa Harold used to say it all the time. If he ever wanted us kids to try anything, he'd say, "Try it- it's the best I've ever had!". Or if he was just excited about a meal he was eating he'd say it. I remember he took me to Paris when I turned 12. We were sitting outside at a restaurant and he had ordered escargot. He kept trying to convince me to eat it and, of course, he told me it was the best he'd ever had. We finally compromised; he sopped up the garlic butter with my bread. But Grandpa said "It's the best I've ever had" so often that it lost its meaning. Like the boy who cried wolf.

Truly, I never say something is the best I've ever had. So when I tell you that the French Toast I made this morning was the best I've ever had, there's good reason you should believe me. Growing up, the only thing my dad knew how to make was French Toast and grilled cheese. My recipe for French Toast has been the same since I learned to make as a kid: leftover challah dipped in a batter of eggs and some milk, and maybe, if overcome with creativity, a dash of cinnamon, and then cooked in a skillet. Served with honey.

This time, I looked up recipes. I consulted my cookbook section. I settled on an amalgamation of different ideas. And I cannot describe how perfect the results were. The end product was a piece of French Toast so moist, so delicious, it was more like croissant than French Toast. It needed no syrup lubricant--only some fresh strawberries sliced on top. The perfect texture, the perfect flavors...I ate it all day long, actually!

The Best French Toast I've Ever Had

1 organic brown egg
1 c milk
1/2 T melted butter
1 T vanilla (*or almond*) extract-- if you use almond, serve with toasted sliced almonds on top
1/8 c sugar
1/4 c flour
10 1" slices challah bread***

Whisk all ingredients (except bread) together in a shallow but medium-large bowl.
Heat skillet on medium.
Place one slice bread in the batter. Soak on both sides, maybe 30 seconds for each side.
Place battered bread in skillet, and cook about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
Repeat with following slices.
Serve with maple syrup, honey, or just fresh sliced strawberries.

***I should say, any challah will do, but we in our house, we use Zomick's, which I think made this recipe even better.

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