February 22, 2011

Brunch aka My Favorite Meal

Part II (Eating My Way Through LA)

There's nothing better than making a delicious brunch on a Sunday morning...except if someone else makes it for you! My friend Rob Tallon is a talented chef that rarely follows the rules, or a recipe. I got one out of him for this special occasion because the citrus french toast crema he made for our brunch in LA last month won our hearts. Rob cooks with the ease of a true professional and creates an experience for all with focus on food and friends, just the way I like it. Here is his recipe for all to enjoy!

Sweet Pain Perdu with Orange Creme Anglaise
This recipe utilizes a few classic french techniques with delicious results. While it’s not exactly diet fare (it’s main ingredients being bread, cream, eggs, and sugar), it’s homemade and things that are homemade don’t have calories, as far as I am concerned. While organic ingredients aren’t necessary, I recommend everyone try to buy local and organic whenever possible.

Make the creme anglaise first, and set in the fridge to chill. I usually double this recipe, mainly because it’s delicious and keeps for a day or two. Blood or cara cara oranges work really well.

Orange Creme Anglaise
4 oranges
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
⅓ cup cane sugar
Dash of salt

●First, zest ONE orange with a zester or microplane. Make sure to stop before you reach the white pith, which is bitter and not tasty. Dice the zest very fine. Set aside.
●On a cutting board with a juice channel, supreme the oranges, reserving the juice. Instructions for this can be found HERE Squeeze remaining juice from the pulp. Set aside segments.
●Place juice in a saucepan and reduce by half over medium heat, until it is a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
●In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a simmer on medium-low heat and add orange zest.
●While cream is heating, separate yolks into a glass or plastic bowl, reserving whites.
●Slowly pour sugar into yolks while whisking, this is easier if you place a towel underneath the bowl.
●Whisk until yolk lightens and runs off of the whisk in ribbons.
●Once cream is simmering, pour half of it slowly into yolks, while whisking. This tempers the yolks and avoids curdling. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and set on low heat. Whisk often while the cream heats. The longer it cooks the thicker it will be. If you take it all the way to bubbling, it will be like a pudding. If you pull it sooner, it will be thinner. This is mostly personal preference, but keep an eye on it, if it overcooks it will curdle.
●Whisk in reduced orange juice, pour creme through a fine metal strainer and place in fridge, covered.

Sweet Pain Perdu (French Toast)
Brioche is the classic choice for french toast, but I like challah as well or better. I have even used King’s Sweet Hawaiian Rolls for this, and they worked brilliantly. Slice the bread the night before and let it sit out overnight, with a towel on it.

1 loaf of brioche, challah or other egg bread.
8 eggs plus excess whites.
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar

●Put eggs, whites, milk, and sugar into a large bowl and whisk briskly until combined.
●Place large, greased, non-stick skillet over medium heat.
●Soak as many slices of bread as will fit in pan in egg mixture for 30 seconds.
●Place slices in pan and cook on both sides until golden brown.
●Can be held warm in a 200 degree oven.

Serve french toast with creme anglaise, garnished with orange sections. Honestly, this is as mush a dessert as a breakfast, but life is for living, right?

-Rob Tallon
Pictures by Laura Malcolm (1/20/11)

1 comment:

  1. Great recipe and pics!! Will have to try for a special occasion