Chef Andy: The Stuff Weekends Are Made For
By Chef Andy Mueller
Owner, Galley 57
Some mornings it’s a bowl of oatmeal, others it’s a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast bar, but when Sunday morning comes around, all bets are off, and so is my diet. There’s nothing better than a lazy late morning breakfast where you can treat yourself to something a bit more decadent, sweet and satisfyingly delicious.
One such treat is this version of stuffed French toast. Sweetened cream cheese layered between two pieces of French toast topped with fresh fruit and a touch of raspberry or maple syrup will start your down day the right way.
It’s very easy to make and it’s ready in no time. In fact, if you can make a grilled cheese, you can make stuffed French toast as it’s basically the same technique. I switch up the syrup, depending on my mood and to change the flavor profile. Raspberry, maple, boysenberry, schnozzberry or any other flavor will work, but you can even do a little butter and powdered sugar for a real Wisconsin twist.
I usually serve it with bacon because the smoky flavor and slightly chewy, crispy texture cuts through the sweetness of the French toast and, well…it’s bacon.
Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature, use quality bread and get the freshest fruit possible and you’re on your way to Sunday Food Fun day. To take it over the top, sprinkle it with some crushed roasted almonds, pistachios or cashews and get ready to take on the day!
After your first nap of the day, of course.
Stuffed French Toast
Makes four orders (eight slices of bread)
For the cream cheese filling:
- 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese ( softened to room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Zest of 1 small orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir ingredients to blend to a smooth consistency.
For the egg mixture, in a large bowl or shallow pan, add:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- The juice from that orange you zested
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- scant pinch of salt
Whisk the ingredients until well combined. Place four of the bread slices on a clean work surface. Top each slice with equal amounts of cream cheese mixture leaving 1/4 inch around the outside of the bread with no cream cheese. Top each piece of bread with remaining bread. Press down gently. Place each “sandwich” into the egg batter, let sit for 10 seconds, then flip over and repeat. Do the same for all four French toasts.
Heat a large non-stick pan or griddle over medium low heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted and bubbling, place the French toast in the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown. Slice each piece in half and serve topped with fresh fruit, your favorite syrup, powdered sugar and crushed toasted almonds, pistachios or cashews.