Sunday, November 23, 2014

Savory French Toast inspired by Jayati

Mom to a very handsome 14 year old, Jayati Saha, the star of this week's Kolkata Food Bloggers event - Know Your Blogger (Part 2) juggles her life at home and in the corporate world beautifully. Calm and collected, she exudes a warmth which makes one want to be friends with her right away. Yup, we are a lucky bunch at Team KFB - we got to know such wonderful people and by recreating their recipes, the bond only grows more intimate.
Jayati blogs from Jayati's Food Journey - and her culinary journey laces in and out of everyday life, weaving a beautiful story of dishes, both Indian and international. I love how she adds her own little flare to her recipes. Oh, she has many every-day Bengali recipes on her blog as well.
Nowadays the husband has taken over the breakfast-making during the week while I feed the 5 year old his breakfast before he leaves for school. So I make breakfast over the weekend. Saturdays are rushed as the 5 year old has soccer, so I try to sneak in a little something special on Sundays, well on most Sundays.  Which means, I am always on the lookout for interesting yet easy breakfast options. Sometimes it is a recipe that catches my fancy and sometimes it is an idea. Jayati's classic French Toast with Peanut Butter gave me the idea to make a savory version (the quintessential Bengali French Toast AKA Dim-Paurooti) and kick it up a notch by adding a Spinach Pesto and Cheese filling.

Savory French Toast inspired by Jayati


Ingredients: For the Savory French Toasts (Yield about 6 triangles)
  • Bread - 6 (preferably sandwich bread)
  • Eggs - 5
  • Onions - 2 tbsp, very finely chopped
  • Milk - 2 tsp
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp, freshly cracked
  • Salt to taste
  • Spinach Pesto - 3 tbsp (Recipe here)
  • Cheese Slices - 3
  • Oil - enough for frying, I needed about 1 tbsp
In a swallow bowl whisk together the eggs and milk for a couple of minutes. Throw in the chopped onions, sprinkle the salt and pepper and give it another whisk. 
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Now dunk the bread (you can cut of the crust if you want to) into the egg-mixture , flip and let it coat both the sides. Gently slide the bread slices into the pan and fry till golden brown on both sides. Drain the excess oil on paper towels. Slather one slice with Spinach Pesto, add a slice of cheese, cover it with another slice (slathered with Spinach Pesto). Cut it diagonally in  the middle (or not) and serve warm with some tomato sauce or some more spinach pesto on the side to dunk it in. 


Spinach Pesto

This is a lovely thing to have on hand to add to your sandwich or pasta. I add it to ground chicken and chickpea as well. Very easy to make and stays fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. Since I am allergic to most nut, except almonds and pistachio, I skip the pine nuts in my spinach pesto and add almonds. 

Spinach Pesto


Ingredients (Yield: About 2 Cups)

  • Spinach - 2 Cups, blanched and water squeezed out.
  • Cilantro - 1/2 Cup, packed (you can use parsley as well)
  • Almonds - 14 or 16
  • Garlic - 2 fat cloves
  • Olive Oil - 1 tbsp 
  • Pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - a little
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
In a mixer or food processor, pulse the almonds a few times. It will resemble a coarse powder. Add the garlic cloves, and give it another quick pulse or two. Then add the spinach, cilantro, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon (optional) and pulse till you get a smooth paste. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and give it one last pulse. Done in this sequence, I always get a smoother paste. May be it is my mixer but done in any other sequence I have ended up with chunks of almonds or garlic in my pesto. Not that I mind, but the husband and 5 year old will definitely make a face! 

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