I've been in NYC for almost 7 years and according to Seinfeld rules, I'm nearly a New Yorker. One thing I've learned is that New Yorkers take their brunching seriously. Waking up after a very late night and crawling to the nearest diner or new hot spot to hours of mimosas, bloody mary's, & a greasy meal to relief the hangover is something I'm all too familiar with...but times have changed.
I still brunch it on weekends, but I do it at home now. I have a brunch meal that will relieve any hangover, satisfy any sweet tooth, and if you make this for someone special, you can thank me later. The French toast has a couple of influences from my life. Being Colombian, I thought of a great way to use "tres leches" & living in Kew Gardens, Queens, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, Challah bread was a natural choice.
The candied & spiced bacon is something I've made since high school (it's for you Marissa). It's a huge hit back in the old neighborhood. It's got an awesome balance of sweet & salty.
I eat very well during the week, but I get to let loose a couple of meals on the weekends. It's total payoff for all the hard work I put into work & my fitness all week. Do yourself a favor, if you are watching what you eat and trying to slim down, reserve a day or a meal where you can treat yourself. I lost over 60 pounds 6 years ago & the only way I kept my sanity was when I gave myself a break
Tres Leches French Toast
1 medium loaf of Challah bread (use whatever you’d like)
1/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Nutmeg & Cinnamon (optional)
4 tbs. of butter
Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until all ingredients are blended well. This is the time to add ¼ tsp of nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Take your slices of Challah bread (about 1 inch ---half your thumb) and dip it the mixture and let it sit for a few minutes. Heat 2 tbs. of butter in a pan (don’t let it brown) and add three pieces of soaked Challah into the pan. It’s going to take about 2 minutes to brow on each side, make sure they don’t burn. Repeat with the next two batches. Keep them warm in a 200° oven until they are all done! Top with maple syrup or condensed milk (my favorite) & then some powdered sugar.
- Experiment with different types of bread. White bread makes the lightest French toast, but whole wheat, cinnamon raisin work very well!
- Use a mixture of cream or half & half or just half & half…it’s up to you.
- Top it off with fresh berries, bananas, nutella…get creative.
- If you want to go eggless, soak the bread in maple syrup for 5 minutes and follow the cooking directions.
French toast, also known as "pain perdu" or "lost bread" in French is typically eaten as a dessert, but Americans love this for breakfast.
Challah bread Challah (also hallah plural: challot) is a bread eaten by most Sephardic Jews on the Sabbath & holidays. It traditionally uses a large number of eggs, fine white flour, water and sugar.Candied Spiced Bacon
½ lb of bacon
½ cup of light brown sugar
These spices are optional but use them if you can…it will be worth it.
2 tbs. dry mustard
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl or large plate. Coat the bacon slices in the mixture. Make sure you get the bacon coated pretty well. Twist the bacon a few times and place a non-stick cookie sheet. If you want, cover it with aluminum foil.
Place the sheet in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes. It all depends how you want your bacon cooked. I don’t like it too crispy so I take it out at around 17 minutes. Plus, remember if you use a thick cut bacon, it may take upwards of 30 minutes. But make sure to watch it when it gets close to finishing, all it takes is 2 minutes and you’ll end up with black bacon.