You ever sit back and wonder...what the heck did I just eat the last few days? Or drown in amazement at yourself that you, and you alone, set forth three meals a day for an entire holiday weekend? Well, I may still be suffering to recount all the washed away memories of this past weekend's eating binge, but I in no way can take credit for all of its creation. My weekend started off with brunch for two at dB Bistro thanks to Gilt City (review coming soon) where I pretended to be posh enough to blow $20 on a mimosa, which was then quickly redeemed by their unbelievably divine eggs benedict and foie gras stuffed burger. Then it was off to the food markets, farmer's markets and greenmarkets that make my pantry smile every weekend (and you'll be reading about tomorrow, though you might have caught a glimpse at already thanks to voyeuristic images I posted). Come Sunday, I was so inspired and so stuffed, both myself and my fridge, that I was ready to cook myself to sleep for the rest of the holiday. And what else does one do for brunch when you score a really good loaf of brioche for less than five bucks? You make French toast. Come on. You knew that right?
ALMOND-CRUSTED BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST
6 large organic, cage-free eggs
1 cup organic half-and-half
2 tbs organic cane sugar
finely grated zest of one orange
3/4 tsb organic almond extract
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
8 thick slices brioche
Canola oil for cooking
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup raspberries
organic maple syrup for serving
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Have ready two rimmed baking sheets. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Add the bread slices to the egg mixture and turn gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 1 minute.
Place a griddle or fry pan over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly oil the pan and one of the baking sheets. Spread the almonds on a plate. One piece at a time, remove the bread from the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dip one side of the bread into the almonds, pressing gently to help the nuts stick. Place on the ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread slices.
Place the bread slices on the griddle, almond side down, and cook until the nuts begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other sides until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Transfer pieces almond-side down, to baking sheets, place in oven and bake until the center of the bread is heated through but still moist, about 10 minutes.
Serve right out of the oven, almond side up of course. And top with a handful of raspberries, drizzled in maple syrup.