New Orleans French Toast

I’ve never been to Mardi Gras but have travelled to New Orleans, where I absolutely feasted, drank tons of coffee and ate more than my share of beignets. I don’t remember where it was that I sampled “New Orleans French Toast” but wherever it was the memory of the dish lingered long enough for me to develop a recipe of my own.

This dish is not exactly breakfast food. More for brunch or even dinner. Also, definitely for grown ups, not kids.

New Orleans French Toast

5 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons orange flavored brandy

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange peel

12 slices French or Italian bread cut about 1/2-inch thick

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. Beat the eggs and sugar together with a whisk or hand beater for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale. Add the milk, brandy and orange peel and stir to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Place the mixture into a pan large enough to hold all the bread slices. Add the bread and let them soak up all the liquid, turning the pieces occasionally to moisten both sides. Place half the butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add some of the soaked bread and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy. Keep warm in the preheated oven. Add remaining butter when half the bread slices have been cooked and repeat. You can cook this longer if you prefer French Toast less custardy. Makes 12 slices, serving 4-6 people