Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sometimes recipes come together out of boredom with the usual or with inspiration from an outside source and other times they are born out of necessity; I have a short list of ingredients on hand or something that needs to be used up before going to waste. I think it may have been a combination of these that brought today’s recipe to light.
I know deep frying isn’t the hip thing it once was but some of my favorite childhood memories were made when mom would get out the Fry Baby. She’d batter and fry chunks of fish, chicken & veggies. My favorite was the broccoli. Years later, I bought my first deep fryer and I couldn’t wait to share this treat with my son. I pretty much stood the whole dinner, as I dropped one basket of veggies or meat after the other, but I was on the proverbial edge of my seat waiting to hear what my son thought of this special and exciting treat. He ate the first few bites quietly. I could only assume he was reveling in the taste and enjoyment of them, and then he asked if we couldn’t just steam some of that broccoli instead of frying it? What?! You mean you want healthy, steam-cooked vegetables instead of heavy, greasy, heart-stopping fried ones? (sigh)
Needless to say my fryer goes for long periods without use, but when we want authentic egg rolls or chicken nuggets the deep fryer is the best way to accomplish those. Egg rolls we’ve done in the skillet tend to get flat on one side or end up looking like triangles and they soak up so much grease by the time they’re cooked. The deep fryer cooks quickly and evenly without allowing time for the food to soak up the oil and the finished product has a light & fluffy texture.
So last night my husband and I were watching the Food Network and saw mention of a restaurant that serves deep fried French toast. There was no recipe or hints on how it was made but sounded interesting enough to play around with. I browsed my kitchen and made a few notes on what to try this morning. I had a loaf of thick sliced Texas Toast in the freezer (put that in the fridge to thaw), a half a package of cream cheese to use up and a couple homemade syrups that needed to be eaten or vacuum-packed and frozen. I used a deep fryer for this but you could easily do it in a deep sided pan on the stove or a deep sided griddle.
This delicious breakfast has a light & fluffy coating on thick slices of Texas Toast, filled with a lightly sweetened cream cheese with a hint of almond flavoring. We tried these with my homemade blueberry/raspberry syrup from Verry Berry French Toast, with Blackberry-Raspberry Sauce, store-bought orange marmalade and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Lorilyn's Deep Fried Stuffed French Toast

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
10 slices Texas toast thick bread (or other thick sliced bread)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
oil (for frying)
powdered sugar (optional, for garnish)

In stand up mixer or in small bowl, combine cream cheese, almond extract and powdered sugar until fluffy.
Fit a cake decorating bag with a large tip (star or round) and fill with cream cheese mixture. Set aside.
Using a serrated bread knife, slice each piece of Texas Toast into half on the diagonal.
Along the newly cut diagonal edge, use the tip of the knife to gently make a one inch slice into the center of the bread, making sure the slice runs parallel to the top and bottom of the bread.
Insert the decorator tip into the opening & squeeze out about a teaspoon or so of filling. With a thumb & finger, gently pinch the opening to close it back up & cover the filling. (This could also be done with a ziplock baggie with a corner cut off, although not quite as easily.).
In mixer or another medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
Beat in milk and eggs until batter is smooth. Pour into deep wide bowl or into a pie plate, for dipping.
Pre-heat deep fryer or griddle (about 350°) and when ready dip filled slices of bread into batter, turn once and place into fryer basket. (Mine will hold two slices at a time.)
Fry 2 minutes or until lightly browned & crispy looking then turn each slice over with a pair of tongs and fry the other side for 2 minutes or until done.
Remove with tongs to paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Repeat with the rest of the slices.
Serve immediately (careful - filling is hot) with your choice of syrups, jams or jellies.
Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 minutes

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TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License