Friday Football Foodie – Overnight French Toast Casserole and Framboise

Sometimes it takes two things to make one great performance. Sigfried and Roy. Captain and Tennille. Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner. (Although Leinart better shutty-his-uppy about splitting time with Warner, and remember that his team won with the two-QB system last week.)

The FFF is back to brunch this week for the 10am games in the PST, with a recipe that part Paula Deen’s Baked French Toast Casserole and part The Joy of Cooking’s Overnight Baked French Toast. (Recipe not online, page 809 in the 1997 edition.)

Part of the beauty of this dish is all the work – what little work there is – is done the evening before brunch, leaving you to sleep in until past 9am on game day for a change. (And I bet Paula Deen would cry less than Leinart over sharing the creation of this breakfast.)

You will need…

1 large loaf of soft French Bread
8 Eggs
2 Cups Half & Half
1 Cup Milk
1/4-1/3 Cup Maple Syrup (PURE Maple Syrup. Not Log Cabin.)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp each of Cinnamon and Nutmeg
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Allspice (optional – I tend to add allspice to anything that calls for cinnamon and nutmeg, because then it reminds me of pumpkin pie spices.)
1/4 tsp Salt
Butter
Powdered Sugar

The night before – Butter a 9×13 cake pan or casserole dish.

Slice the loaf of French Bread into 1-inch slices. Feel free to stab Peyton Manning if he starts cheering, “Cut that bread!” behind you.

Arrange the slices as shown in your buttered pan.

OH MY GOD! TWO YOLKS! IN ALL OF MY YEARS OF BAKING AND COOKING I HAVE NEVER HAD AN EGG HAVE TWO YOLKS!

I spent the next 15 minutes looking up folklore about multiple yolks to see if it meant anything, and finally decide that TWO yolks means the Steelers were going to win. Or I was pregnant. One of the two.

Mix together milk, half and half, eggs, syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Beat together on a low setting until all the ingredients are completely incorporated together. Do not over-whip!

Pour over slices of bread.

Go back through and make sure that the bread is coated with your egg mixture on both sides.

Once are you are satisfied that the bread is properly soaking… (This is your before photo.)

…cover and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (This is the after photo. See how puffy the bread is now?) Uncover and bake for 40-50 minutes.

(This is the Paula Deen way of baking. The Joy of Cooking says to remove from egg soak and bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turning the slices over half way through. Really, either way is fine. The JOC method is a bit less “eggy.”)

Dust with powdered sugar, add more maple syrup to taste,  and serve before kickoff.

And what goes well with a football brunch? Lambic beer. Yes, it is considered a lighter, fruity beer, but the not too sweet taste and heavy weight to the drink, (it is, after all, still beer) makes it a perfect match for morning games.

Even Ape likes a glass, as we watched Steelers-Bills on one TV and Browns-Bengals on the other.

NEXT WEEK – A special guest blogger brings us the best of New Orleans cooking for the Sunday Night Game.

34 thoughts on “Friday Football Foodie – Overnight French Toast Casserole and Framboise

  1. Oh my God, I’ve been wanting to make this overnight French Toast for AGES.

    And is that…raspberry…beer? I’m intrigued. Slightly concerned, as well, but mostly intrigued.

  2. Framboise Lambic is the best of the Lindemans fruity beers. I’ve had the apple and the peach, but neither of them are as good as the raspberry. Yum.

  3. Chase – I liked it, although maybe next time I will take it out of the egg soak ala the JOC way. More work, but maybe not so eggy.

    Clare – Have you had the blackberry? I’ve always wanted to try it, but always put it back on the shelf.

  4. PAULADEENPAULADEENEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    She came into the bar where I was slinging drinks last year and told me she’d dance at my wedding if I could make her some sweet tea. I made Paula Deeeeeeen sweet tea. There are no more life goals. I’m complete.

  5. TSW, it sounds like you don’t like when the bread is damp and smushy with egg in the middle. I don’t like it that way either. What about baking it lower and slower for a longer period of time, then ratcheting up the heat at the end to crisp the tops and edges? That’s a lot of work too, isn’t it? Never mind.

    I’ve never seen the blackberry lambic before. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  6. Holls – Sweet tea. One thing I will never agree with Southerns on.

    Clare – It wasn’t so much soggy, because it wasn’t, but it also had like too much egg batter on the bottom. Not so much for me.

    That being said, TSB and my guests each had two servings.

  7. Oddly enough, it was a VERY MANLY friend of ours who introduced us to the wonder of Rasberry Lambic. Thus, I feel completely safe in my manhood for drinking it. (And, surprisingly, we’ve found Lambic at the local grocery store. It’s usually next to the wee bottles of Sutter Home Zinfandel and the uber-gay Arbor Mist section.)

    And I’m surprised TSW was able to even identify page 809 in her battle-worn copy of JOY. Most of the rest of the book looks like it’s been used to tenderize meat and stir together casserole. (But GOD FORBID I should suggest getting a newer edition. That usually gets me yelled at and something greasy thrown towards my head.)

  8. TSB – The Mayfair doesn’t carry Arbor Mist, much to my dismay. If it did, I would not have this White Zin hangover this morning.

    Hehe… I almost made a joke about my copy of JOY in post, knowing that if I said 1997 StarterMom might go out and get me a new one. I LIKE MINE! All the post its, bent spine marks, and pages stuck together let me know where all the best sections are.

  9. Lambic is delicious. The apple’s probably my favorite because it’s about as close to a good cider you can get around here. The blackberry is delicious too. You should try them mixed with Young’s Chocolate Stout. Awesomeness.

    Instead of using French bread, I like to use Brioche or Challah (usually easier to find than Brioche) which are a bit lighter and sweeter. It’s good if it’s a day or two old too.

  10. Pages all stuck together? Are we talking about the same “Joy of…” book?

    I have purchased all the lambic beers for my family and made them all girlie drunk on them. The blackberry beer is perhaps my favorite.

    Also, you forgot “Pink Lady and Jeff”.

  11. I’m surprised you’ve never seen a 2 yolk egg before. I’ve seen them several times and I rarely ever cook. My guess would be it just means twin chicks. Granted all the double yolk eggs I’ve ever seen were brown eggs so maybe that’s why.

  12. That looks fantastic. I had something called a Grand Fambroise at a bar that was half rasberry lambic and half guiness (I think) it was fantastic.

    If you are in the south east there’s a great blueberry ale by Sweetwater that would go well with this also.

  13. YOU TAKE THAT BACK ABOUT SWEET TEA!!!

    Seriously, take that back. You just never had really good sweet tea. The trick is to make it almost too sweet, right on the barrier of hurting your teeth sweet. Or is that just me?

    I really wish I liked french toast b/c that looks very good. But I hate it so much. Not a big egg person.

  14. No, SA, it’s not just you, and out thisaway THEY DON’T MAKE IT WITH SIMPLE SYRUP THEY JUST STIR A SUGAR PACKET IN THE GLASS. It’s no place for civilized people.

  15. SA-

    The trick is to put the sugar in while the pitvher of tea is still steaming hot. It melts into the tea and is one of the wonders of the world. Sun Tea won’t work because it does not get hot enough.

    And TSW- great recipe this week. I know what I’m having for breakfast on Sunday now.

  16. I thought Sweet Tea was an alcoholic beverage. Shows you how cloistered I am in my lil’ West Coast World. (Also, I have never had the following: boiled peanuts, fresh donuts from a street cart, or a scotch egg– which disappointingly I have just discovered, via Wikipedia, does not contain “scotch”.)

  17. And now I find out there’s a blackberry beer, too?

    You ladies are blowing my mind with this one.

    …doesn’t take much.

  18. Leinenkugel (Wisc. brewery) makes one called Berry Weiss that is awsome! Not sure if you can find it everywhere, but I found it at a few different grocery stores around where I live in OH.

    I think the double-yolk thing is supposed to be a portent of fertility or something. True story–there was one in my wedding cake, so we’ll see. :)

  19. Holly-my first inclination is to say “what the hell is sugar packets?” If that’s how most non-Southerners sweeten their tea than no wonder they don’t like. You must use real sugar. Must.

    TSW-I actually can’t drink it unsweetened. And I’ve never had sun tea (really). I must try it while it’s still 80 here in SC.

    Godfather-Yes! That’s exactly how I make mine.

    IJustMadeThatUp-I’m eating boiled peanuts right now. You’re missing out my friend.

  20. TSW,

    The french toast looks really yummy— this is off topic, but where did you get your ape? I think my kids would really like their own Steelers ape!! Thanks!

  21. I just finished up the night-before preparations. The bread is soaking and in the fridge and it smells WAY better than I thought it would…. I wanted to drink the batter since it smelled a lot like eggnog.

    I’ll post an update tomorrow at how it went over.

  22. Steelersmomma – The ape is the figure of the infamous “Christmas Ape” from KissingSuzyKolber. All it is an ape doll I already had around the house with a pin stuck in him. You could probably make your own for about $10-$15. :)

    AS – Lemme know how it goes!

  23. Update: It’s really damn good. I went with the same preparation as TSW; sausage, fruit and a raspberry lambic.

    I cooked it all directly in the pan and the bottoms turned out on the soggy side (which I like), and the tops were crunchy for a little texture contrast.

    This one is definitely a keeper for when you have to make breakfast for a large crew (kids, houseguests, that orgy you brought home from the bar, etc.) . It didn’t take much preparation the night before, and it was almost no work to throw it in the oven.

  24. I like my iced tea barely sweetened with simple syrup, and for anyone who tries to dissolve granulated sugar into a cold beverage, just pour equal amounts of sugar and water into a microwave safe dish and bring that puppy to boil for a little while. Stick it in the fridge once the boil has dissolved all the sugar and you have simple syrup. I make it at work, along with Luzianne iced tea, every week and it takes 5 minutes or so to do. One word of advice, though, stick some sort of microwave safe utensil in the bowl with the sugar and water while boiling. A chopstick or plastic knife or fork that won’t melt. It gives the boiling bubbles an escape route out of the bowl so it doesn’t all flash boil when you break the surface tension by moving the container with your hands, which would result in the need for lots of aloe vera.

    As far as this recipe goes…I am intrigued. I love french toast and I love short cuts, so if I could achieve french toast bliss on a Saturday or Sunday morning without having to groggily operate the stove…well that is a good thing.

    P.S. Lambic is far from being a “girly” beer, and if you have a fruit flavored lambic it may blend well with a porter or stout, IMO. I wouldn’t 50/50 it. Use the lambic more like a syrup to add a little sour sweetness to the bitterness of the stout. On a crisp autumn or winter morning, it would be particularly enjoyable at room temperature. Don’t be afraid to drink your porters and stouts unrefrigerated!

    P.P.S. I type too much and I am always days late on these.

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