- Date: Thursday, August 20, 2009 -- 7pm
- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Kitchen: My New Apartment!
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Recipe Rating: B+
Most things I see on TV don't stick with me for long, but occasionally something is shocking enough that I remember it for years. Even more occasionally, something is so shocking that I remember not only what was on the television, but also exactly where and when I watched it. One such memory: My parents were visiting me in Boston one fall while I was in graduate school and they were staying in a hotel downtown. My mom and I were in the hotel room, waiting for my dad to get back from a workout, and we were flipping through the channels. We happened upon the Food Network, where Paula Deen was preparing some of her specialties. Now, I have nothing against Paula Deen. I have only seen her show a few times, but it never fails to make me smile when I do watch it. On this particular segment, she was preparing an appetizer. For her appetizer, she started with a can of Pillsbury biscuits. Admittedly, those biscuits are pretty delicious, but they are terrible for you. Typically one prepares the biscuits by putting them on a baking sheet and baking them in the oven. Not Paula Deen! Rather than baking them, she deep-fried them! And if that wasn't crazy enough, once they had been deep-fried, she used a squirt bottle to inject them with honey butter, so that more sugary, buttery goodness would ooze out with every bite. She kept referring to this item as an "appetizer" and I kept thinking, "If that's an appetizer, what will she make for dessert?" The answer: she made bread pudding where the bread was replaced by Krispy Kreme donuts and the milk was replaced by sweetened condensed milk. By the end of the episode I was laughing so hard I was crying.
Why do I mention this? Well, this French toast recipe was striving towards that level of absurdity. The typical method for making French toast is, generally speaking, as follows: take some bread. Soak it for some amount of time in some mixture of milk, eggs, and possibly vanilla. Cook soaked pieces of toast on stovetop in some butter. Serve with syrup. What results is certainly not a health food, but it is delicious. This recipe was like that, except where one would normally use milk, this recipe called for heavy cream. And where one would normally pan-fry the pieces of bread in a bit of butter, this recipe called for them to be deep-fried. Crazy! What resulted was incredibly rich and, not surprisingly, delicious. The French toast came out moist and eggy on the inside, and golden and slightly crisp on the outside. It was very flavorful, hardly needing any syrup (and certainly not needing any butter on top!). My major complaint was just that it was so rich that it was hard to eat enough of this to make a meal out of it. We ate this for dinner, and I could only eat two pieces (each a half a slice of bread) before I was so saturated with cream that I just couldn't eat any more richness. But if you are looking for some ultra-rich special occasion French toast, this is pretty tasty. Paula Deen would be proud.
The recipe is here.