Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Tasty Brunch

My boyfriend was in town this past weekend and one of our things it breakfast & brunch. It's both of our favorite meals and we always take turns making it for each other. He's got your traditional eggs and bacon down so well that I don't even attempt anymore. So I looked through my Rachel Ray Get Togethers Cookbook and decided to use one of her brunch menus. Since I was young I have LOVED french toast and this one is pretty fabulous. As opposed to buying sausage or bacon, I decided to try out the recipe for sausage patties and make my own. The french toast called for stale bread, but as I wasn't planning on making this and we rarely have bread in the house, I opted for fresh french bread which worked well. Although it's nice to know that the recipe offers a good use for the leftover bread from a previous night's dinner.

Pain Perdu - Lost Bread a.k.a. French Toast
Serves 2-3

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in a splash of water
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used already ground nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I added this because in my opinion French Toast should always have cinnamon)

8 slices stale white bread or 6 slices thick cut stale bread (I used 6 slices fresh French Bread)
Butter, for griddle pan

1. Preheat nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat.
2. Beat eggs very well, add sugar and beat again.
3. Add cornstarch in water and beat that in, then add milk and nutmeg.
4. Coat bread thoroughly in egg-milk mixture.
5. Lightly butter hot pan with butter nested in paper towels. Add bread to the pan and cook slowly, 3 or 4 minutes on each side, 2 to 3 slices at a time.
6. Serve hot with your favorite toppings or Three Berry Compote.

Three Berry Compote

1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1. Combine sugar, lemon and water in a small sauce pot.
2. Over moderate heat, dissolve sugar into water.
3. Stir in fruit, coating it in sugar water and bring the fruit and water to a bubble.
4. Reduce heat and simmer 7 or 8 minutes.
5. Remove fruit with a slotted spoon to a serving dish and add maple syrup or honey to the pan.
6. Thicken syrup 5 minutes and pour over fruit.
7. Serve with French toast, pancakes or waffles.

Maple Fennel Country Sausage Patties
Serves 2-3

1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1. Combine salt and pepper, fennel in the bottom of a bowl.
2. Add pork and mix to combine spices.
3. Pour 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the pork and work the meat again to combine the maple syrup.
4. Form meat into patties, 2 to 3 inches round.
5. Cook patties in 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat 4 or 5 minutes on each side.
6. Drain sausage patties on towel lined plate, then serve.

This was the first complete meal I've made from my Rachel Ray cookbook and it was actually extremely easy and quick. I didn't time myself, but in the past I have tried her recipes and felt that they took longer than the advertised 30 minutes. This was probably pretty close to the 30 minute mark, all said and done. This is a great brunch if you want something hearty and tasty and if you want to impress someone.

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