When one cleans out one’s freezer (because one’s defrost drain is clogged causing one’s refrigerator to hemorrhage water all over the floor), one finds many things. Unidentifiable meat glaciers – since “labeling the bag” never seems necessary at the time, about 20 bags of frozen peas containing about 5 peas a piece, Lucy, and endless numbers of bread loaf ends, single bagels, and baguette remnants.
Thus, continuing my weekend brunch Short Recipe Post momentum, here’s a great way to use those freezer-burned reject bread pieces. Somewhere between a latke and a crab cake in appearance, this reinvention of french toast requires only a few dishes and minimal hands-on time to make. What could be better?!
French Toast Latkes
Yield: 4 latkes
Equivalent of ~5-6 slices of bread (I used 2 thick baguette slices + 2 white bread loaf ends + 1 potato bread slice)
1 egg + 1 yolk
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon canola oil + 1 tablespoon butter
Raspberry jam & powdered sugar, for serving
If your bread slices are frozen (as mine were), pop them in a toaster oven set to 300 degrees farenheit for ~4-5 minutes, just to thaw and dry them out — you want the bread to be as absorbent as possible.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg, yolk, milk/cream, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Tear the bread slices into small pieces (about the size you would use to make your Thanksgiving stuffing), and drop them into the egg mixture. Toss to coat thoroughly, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit 30 minutes, until all of the egg mixture has been absorbed.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat, until the butter has completely melted. Use your hands to shape the soaked bread into 4 equally-sized patties, flattening them slightly between your hands. Carefully place the patties in the hot oil/butter, and cook for ~4 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Flip patties, and let cook another 2 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate for ~2 minutes. Serve with fresh raspberry jam, a fine dusting of powdered sugar, and scintillating conversation!