Bon Appetit, Y'all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking by Virginia Willis, presents classic recipes from the American South, including French Toast Casserole; Grits with Corn and Vidalia Onion; and Fried Catfish Fingers with Country Rémoulade.
French Toast Casserole
When my sister and I were young, our favorite mornings were when Mama would prepare French toast for breakfast. The smell of butter, kissed with cinnamon, combined with the heady scent of sizzling egg was a most welcome greeting as we bounded down the stairs. This version is made the night before, so you won't find yourself camped in front of a hot griddle in the early morning, groggy and in need of caffeine. The next morning, remove it from the fridge to take the chill off. Grab a cup of coffee and pop it in the oven. By the time the table is set, the family is assembled, and you're ready for your second cup, breakfast is ready. Brioche and challah are yeast breads, rich with egg and butter, and make superlative French toast.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 loaf brioche or challah, sliced
- 1-1/2 inches thick (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Confectioners' sugar, for accompaniment
- Sorghum, cane, or maple syrup, for accompaniment
(see page 182 of the book)
Combine the melted butter and brown sugar in a baking dish. Arrange the bread slices in the dish. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a bowl. Pour over the bread, letting it soak in. Top with the pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Let the chilled casserole stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Bake until browned and set, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly. Sift over confectioners' sugar. Serve hot or warm with sorghum, cane, or maple syrup.
Bon Appetit, Y'all
Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking
- by Virginia Willis
- Ten Speed Press, 2008
- $32.50; hardcover; Full-color photographs throughout
- ISBN-10: 1580088538
- ISBN-13: 9781580088538
- Recipe repirnted by permission.
- French Toast Casserole
- Grits with Corn and Vidalia Onion
- Fried Catfish Fingers with Country Rémoulade
This page created September 2008