Savory Sweet Mandarin-Citrus FRENCH TOAST

. . . It’s a hearty tender FRENCH TOAST with divine BROWNED APPLE BUTTER and mandarin zest . . .

Last night I was hungry for something sweet, but not too sweet.

…here is my passionately slow template for this treat.

The savory browned butter complements the citrus zest, chewy sprouted grains are just satisfyingly hearty.

So, here is my version of the classic.

FRENCH TOAST made with whole grain sprouted sesame bread:

Unapologetically butter fried.
Topped with lemon zest.

Using a glass rectangular baking dish, or something with sides,
arrange about 6 pieces of Ezekiel Sesame whole grain sprouted bread.

In a medium bowl, mix:

! cup 1/2 & 1/2 OR milk
4 eggs
vanilla bean scraped seeds only
(save pod and put into your coffee bean container, perhaps)
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one mandarin or other orange or tangerine
A bit of ground cinnamon

Adjust all ingredients to taste.

FRENCH TOAST amenable to myriad versions, yet I love it when keep pairing my many incarnations of it it with I have the time to whip up a quick saute of apples which will turn to a delightful soft chutney-ish sauce. More citrus zest can be great, if you like zests as I do.

I usually have apple and citrus in the fridge, so here is another loose template, I dare not call recipe, for I hope you innovate!

SAUTEED APPLE-CITRUS BUTTER:

Make the apple citrus butter a fast version of a slow, slow food. Oymoronic as it seems, there is a happy medium when you love slow food flavors and have a growly tummy and a vision of a super-flavorful plate-o-gourmet chow. All the better to appreciate when it is ready, said the wolf! And you and yours will truly wolf it down, I’m sure.

For the far, far quicker-than-slow apple butter topping:

Saute apple slices (organic Granny Smith, peeled), in pasture butter if it is in season, adding a square of rind from today’s earlier snack of a mandarin orange, minced in neat tiny teeny squares, Mmmmmm, yummy. If you brown the butter before sautéing the apples, it will be especially rich and nutty.
Do a long slow saute, say 15 minutes, then put lid on top, and let it cook on super low for a half hour or so, the edges will caramelize. It will cook down into a lovely mushy orangey-slightly caramelly mass of sweet sauce. It will be a stiff apple sauce, more like a chutney than a sauce.

Divine on the splendid chewy-tender wholegrain french toast.

In the french toast realm everyone seems to have their own ways, such as well cooked, or well soaked, or lightly soaked, and some chefs add a bit of flour for body. I have even seen (horrors) some folks dip their bread in pancake batter and fry it up. But that’s in my “Eeeew, yukky” category, for in my book, french toast is a cross between an eggy waffle and the outside of a great monte cristo sandwich.

THE TRUST FACTOR
Ima gonna say that I trust you enough to create your own ratios for this traditional breakfast food. As an artist and semi-healthy gourmet I prefer to adjust and tweak most recipes. French toast is one of those forgiving delights begging to be adjusted for what have you in the pantry or fridge. This apple butter with mandarin zest turns out so darn well if you cook it low and slow that nobody will miss the syrup. A dollop of greek yogurt on the side will add some protein and creamy moistness if you desire a something extra to dip and drag, and do not want the sugary sweetness of pure maple syrup.

So go ahead and adjust away, you know I trust you, and you know you
will anyway. Bravo for innovation. I promise I won’t look over your shoulder and kibbitz. (at least this time I won’t)

Some fresh diced peeled apple would have been a nice additional topping, but I had used the last Granny Smith. Maybe tossed in some lemon juice and honey first. If ya really have to totally gild the lily then toast some pecans and sprinkle around the plate. Might be a bit much, though.

Talk about decadent and fabulous!

Then to assuage your guilt, go donate some of your time at the local food bank.

Really!

It will make you appreciate how precious your food and your good happy life actually is.

For real.

Eat and share with joy and love!!!

Susan

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