Prosciutto-Crusted French Toast

September 15, 2010

Prosciutto-Crusted French Toast

At the conclusion of my post about prosciutto ice cream I alluded to a use for the leftover chunks that infused the ice cream base. A friend had tasted the ice cream, pointed at the chunks, and said “french toast.”

I don’t have the level of OCD (I call it “precision” and “attention to detail”) that prevents me from allowing different foods to touch in the same plate,  but I always kept my breakfast sausage or bacon away from the maple syrup. I understood the whole sweet/salty thing, but I didn’t apply it to breakfast. Now I had a chance to experiment.

I began with a basic french toast recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and assembled my ingredients: a sandwich loaf of french bread, a cup and a half of milk, two tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of vanilla extract, a quarter teaspoon of salt, three egg yolks, three tablespoons of light brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and the leftover prosciutto chunks, which I had frozen overnight.

I warmed up the milk, melted the butter, and then mixed all of the ingredients together to make a batter.

I shredded the frozen prosciutto on a microplane grater, a task made much more difficult by the small size of the pieces and a strong desire not to incorporate my fingertips into my breakfast.

I cut six half-inch thick slices of bread and soaked them in the batter for twenty seconds per side.

I pressed three of the slices (this was a test, after all)  into the shredded prosciutto and let them sit for a minute.

I started the slices face-up on the griddle, pressing the tops to embed the prosciutto before flipping the slices over.

I was afraid that the top layer would fall off when I flipped the slices, but instead it did what I hoped it would do: crisp up and fuse to the bread. I served a plain and a prosciutto slice to myself, She Who Must Be Obeyed, and He Who Will Not Be Ignored, garnishing with some of the leftover shredded bits.

Topped with good (you do use grade B, don’t you?) maple syrup, the toast was sweet, salty, chewy, and more crispy than the plain slices. The dish received the Chez Belm Seal of Approval, but I don’t know how often I’ll be making it. It’s more labor intensive than I like for breakfast, and besides, She Who Must Be Obeyed has suggested an improvement: prosciutto french toast waffles.

Sources:

Bread: Iggy’s
Eggs: Feather Ridge Farm
Cinnamon: Penzey’s

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