Saturday, February 01, 2014

Sparkling Peachy French Toast

I apologize for the poor phone photograph.  They're still delicious!
 First off, I apologize for the awful photo: my camera batteries were dead and it was the end of Week 1 in the French Riviera, so I had to take it with my iPod.  There was simply no way to take that photo beautifully because the syrup was so shiny...and delicious.  

Week 1 of study abroad, I purchased a lovely peach wine.  I bought a different peach wine one the end of the week, because the one I had previously bought was out of stock.  The new wine wasn't very good- tasted more like ethanol with peach flavouring- so I decided too cook with it.  BEST DECISION EVER.  I had a craving and decided to use it to make this lovely French toast, and while the wine as a drink was nasty, as cooking material it is just suberbThis makes an excellent snack, breakfast, brunch, or dessert, and was only the first food I made with the peach wine. 
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Sparkling Fruity French Toast
Makes 4 slices, about 15 minutes

4 slices artisan bread, cut to about 1cm thickness (I used a whole wheat olive oil loaf with whole seeds in it)
1 tbsp butter or olive oil for cooking
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup peach or other clear fruit wine or juice
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup extra wine or juice, for syrup sauce

Heat skillet and butter or olive oil for cooking toast, and a small non-stick pot with for sauce.  Beat egg in small bowl.  Add sugar and mix loosely, then add milk and wine or juice and mix well.  Add cinnamon and HALF of the walnuts, if desired.  When butter in skillet is hot, dip bread slices into egg mixture (make sure to pick up some of the walnuts onto the bread!  The nutty taste will toast into the bread.  Cook on medium-low heat, until each side is thoroughly cooked but inside is still slightly tender, about 7 minutes. Pour leftover egg mixture into the pot (or wait for the skillet) for syrup.  Add extra wine or juice if desired.  Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until sauce is thick and syrupy, stirring constantly.  Sauce should be thick but liquidy and still drip runnily off a spoon, and wine or juice should no longer be distinguishable.  Stir in walnuts and remove from heat.  Serve over French toast.  Garnish with fresh fruit if desired.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Study Abroad Recipes!

I've been studying abroad in the French Riviera as of January 5th, after little over 6 months of preparing and a lifetime of hoping for this distant ideal. My study abroad experiences in general- photos, assorted trips, musings, photos, environmental observations, and academics- are all on another blog, PagoKrystallos. I'll only be here for four months, but with living in France for even as little as four months, I can make do with all those new experiences. In just the last 24 days, I've gone to Monaco (new country); Nice; a perfume factory in Grasse; Ventimiglia, Italy; and Lyon. I bought some wonderful Italian yarn in Lyon, with which I'm making a headwrap and cowl to keep warm here.  But this one shall remain for all my creative finery!  Now, where was I?  Oh

Here in France I have a LOT more free time than I do back home.  I'm taking a similar amount of credits here as I would back home, but the classes are structured a bit differently, and I wind up with a 4-day weekend.  I also live in an apartment, and have several markets and small grocery stores within a mere 5 minute or less walk of my apartment.  So of course I've been improvising a lot of little dinners and snacks and desserts. All of them are simple to make but yield a complex-looking and clean-tasting result, and all have taken 20 minutes or less to make.  (My one beef with the apartment is no oven, just a toaster oven, but I'll live.)  I've made Italian, Japanese, and of course, French.  No Mexican foods yet except a sausage I bought that turned out to be chorizo, but I'll probably start cooking Mexican when I get homesick.  The only thing I really want from home is my little serranos, but no chile is sold here but picantes. Oh, and tortillas.  I ate my first sunny-side up egg without tortilla my first week here.  It was...a bewildering 5 minutes from serving myself until I ate it, during which I was just trying to decide how to eat it!

So the food I've made here that I plan to start posting up in proper recipes or as cooking inspirations on this blog:
  • French toast with peach walnut syrup (from peach wine)
  • mini flaky artisan pizza with gouda, brie, caramellized onion, bell pepper, and mushroom.
  • a croque madame (just google this one if it's not familiar, you WON'T be sorry) 
  • pasta with merguez sausage, bell pepper, olive oil, peach wine, and herbs
  • chicken and caramellized onion roasted in peach wine, served over sticky rice
  • Japanese-inspired sweet omelette
  • crêpe with roasted pear and caramellized onions
Au revoir!~