French toast, shmench toast? Not with these variations!

Courtesy of Garrett Ziegler via Flikr

The best kind of breakfasts are the meals you can somehow get away with eating at any time of day. One can argue that this can be said about any breakfast dish, but I’ve recently found myself thinking—what type of meal do I , myself, crave whether it be 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.? After some deliberation, fresh toast quickly came to mind.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s almost impossible to mess up pancakes or Belgium waffles, but there’s something crunchy and crispy yet sweet and almost salty about french toast that far surpasses any other breakfast dish, and keep in mind that this is coming from a serious avocado enthusiast.

Suddenly all this French toast talk has me perplexed. Where can I order some decent French toast in Poughkeepsie? Am I up for the challenge to replicate this recipe in the deece?

One of the best parts about this breakfast staple is that, for a recipe with few ingredients, there is a lot of room for imagination. You’d be surprised at the extent to which a few slices of bread and eggs can evolve into different dishes.

For me, I think it’s probably the sprinkled white sugar and strawberries that makes the dish such a consistent classic, whereas sophomore and sous chef, Emmett O’Malley admits, “I love the sweet, succulent, sensational, sometimes slightly sour, superlatively splendid, soft, syrup-soaked superbness of French toast!” To each his own, I suppose.

But anyway, the point of this article isn’t to discuss my food philosophy, but rather how to up the French toast game and make our way into the breakfast club of 2017. Before we jump ahead, let’s jump back to the fact that French toast is certainly acceptable to consume at any time of day, which is why switching things up from the standard recipe is a must.

Let’s start with coconut and sesame; probably not the first two ingredients that pop into your head when prepping French toast, but it’s time to crunch things up. Before you doubt me, just try to envision fresh bread layered with cereal crunch, coconut, some sesame seeds and note that this is before we take things to the frying pan and throw in some butter.

Ever considered converting your French toast into a sweet and savory “Monte Cristo” sandwich? Me neither, until stumbling upon a recipe that rings in raspberry jam, Gruyere cheese, thin sliced ham and brown mustard all between two toasted yet thick slices of bread.

So maybe monte isn’t your thing, but what about transforming the classic into a parfait? Add a little trifle to your toast by layering bites of French toast with fruit, yogurt and/or whipped cream. There’s something about incorporating fruit and probiotics that makes this recipe nearly sound healthy—key word: nearly.

Now if you’re serious about getting healthy, there is a way to sneak some salad into this sweet treat. It starts with cutting your French toast into small bites and lining them up on a baking sheet to be placed in the oven until classically crispy and golden brown.

At the same time, throw together some sweet greens (spinach? Arugula? Up to you!) and top off the French toast as croutons!

Ok, the breakfast salad is a bit of a stretch, which is why I’ll end with a safer spin off: French toast cereal and no, I’m not talking about Cinnamon Toast Crunch. What I’m talking about is cooking up French toast like you normally would and later slicing it into cubes over some warm milk and optional brown sugar and cinnamon.

The options are endless, which is why you should know that beyond a snack, dessert or late night munchie, French toast can always be stored away in the freezer and saved for later, just be sure to label it before you lose it to hungry visitors.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 splash vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2-4 (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick) slices of bread
  • Butter, as needed (for frying)

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