Tuesday, October 5, 2010

French Toast with Date Butter

My recipe for French toast was inspired by some of the offerings at a favorite brunch restaurant called Zaftigs near Boston. This Jewish delicatessen is located in Brookline, Massachusetts. There is always a line out the door at the weekend.

This recipe isn't on their menu, but if you go there you will find banana-stuffed French toast, pancakes topped with walnuts and bananas and date butter on the side of several breakfast plates. This is a recipe to bring some of those delicious flavors home.

Date Butter
Make the date butter the night before you intend to make the French toast. This recipe makes extra date butter.

2 large Medjool dates
Pinch of sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or reduced calorie spread

Remove the pit from each date. Sprinkle the dates lightly with salt. Finely chop the dates. On a cutting board, add the butter to the chopped dates. Use a large knife to fold and scrape the butter and dates together. Scrape the compound into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bananas and Walnuts
2 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped
1 banana, sliced

In a skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside. Have the topping prepared before cooking the toast.

French Toast
4 slices country-style bread
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon safflower oil

Whisk together egg, milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a baking dish or breading pan. Dip the bread into the mixture and give it a bit of time to soak.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 2-3 minutes per side.

To plate: Top 2 slices of toast with 1/2 the banana and 1 tablespoon walnuts. Serve with a little dish of date butter on the side. 

Serves 2

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