Sunday, September 2, 2012

French Toast - Pain Perdu

I never eat breakfast .... I'm just not a breakfast person. Beside, I'm never hungry in the morning .... couple of cups of coffee is all I need. Of course, I wasn't always like this. I have vivid memories of my mother's Pain Perdu. In our household, breakfast was always ready by the time I woke up. I remember waking up by the wonderful aroma that filled our apartment .... the wonderful smell of sugar, egg and cinnamon. It's funny to see my children now run downstairs and say "It smells so good mommy, what are you cooking?" or "What is this smell mommy??? It's horrible ... are you making fish?". They remind me of myself when I was a kid.
My mother instilled in me a love for cooking. She taught me not to be afraid of experimenting with different ingredients. "Wash your hands and season the chicken ... come on, don't be afraid of touching and feeling your ingredients" she would say.  She was a firm believer that every woman should know how to cook. She was a also firm believer that children need to be raised in a household filled with love and home-cooked meals. She would raise her eyebrows every time she'd hear of a mother who didn't cook!
"Do you know that she doesn't cook for her children! Not even a scrambled egg!!...  what do they eat then??? " she would say petrified.
Unfortunately, times are different now ... we have busy lives and less time to spend in the kitchen. It's very hard to balance a professional life and a family life. I do spend a lot time in the kitchen doing what I love and experimenting with different recipes - I stopped working when our daughter was born.
My mother taught me a great deal about food and life in general. I am thankful for all her unconditional love and wisdom. Even though she's no longer here, but I still can hear her say "you really need to add more salt in your dishes ... pass me the salt!" or "please wear gloves when you do the dishes .... you are going to ruin your hands!" or "New shoes? .... how many pairs of shoes do you really need?" Yes, another obsession of mine ... but more on that at some other time.

Pain Perdu
Adapted from Philippe Conticini
for 6 people

1 baguette, sliced 2 inches wide
4 tablespoons butter

1 cup whole milk (the recipe calls for half and half)
 2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar

In a bowl beat egg and sugar until white.
Add milk, beat further.

La Panure:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white sesame

In a bowl mix all above ingredients.

To cook:
Dip 3, 4 sliced baguette in L'Anglaise.
Wait 5 minutes then turn on the other side, wait 5 minutes longer.
Then dip slices in La Panure. Coating each side of the baguette slices.

Heat butter in a skillet, brown baguette slices on both sides.
So crunchy, so delicious and really simple!

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