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French Toast BLT with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

★★★★★

  • 12 thick slices smoked bacon
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices challah bread, at least 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • 12 slices ripe tomatoes (about 3 small)
  • 6 cups arugula spring mix, cleaned

Roasted-Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 3 heads garlic
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mild and creamy Dijon mustard
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.  Place bacon on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Leave oven on. Preheat oven to 375°.  Slice tops off garlic heads so cloves are exposed. Place in baking dish, drizzle with olive oil. Cover pan with foil and roast until golden brown and fragrant, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile fry bacon in skillet. Remove garlic from oven. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Combine heavy cream and eggs in bowl and whisk to thoroughly blend. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Soak bread in mixture, 15 minutes, then turn slices over and soak an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Place nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add canola oil. Once oil is hot, fry challah slices on each side until golden brown, working in batches. Transfer bread to baking sheet and place in oven. Bake until custard is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes; the bread should soufflé or puff up.

While bread is baking; squeeze garlic cloves out of skins into blender bowl. Combine vinegar and mustard, blending until smooth. With machine running, slowly drizzle in ¾ cup olive oil. Keep blender running and season with salt and pepper.

Remove bread pan from oven, cover each slice with grated cheese, return pan to oven to melt cheese, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Put 2 slices bacon and 2 slices tomato on each slice of bread and drizzle with some vinaigrette. Toss arugula spring mix with remaining dressing and place atop each piece. Serve warm.

 

Makes 6 servings

Source : Epicurious June 2011 / Esquire : Eat Like a Man; Gautreau’s, New Orleans


Wow! Just wow! This was incredible! As is becoming quite common, by mid-afternoon I started feeling sick, so the hubby offered to fix the rest of dinner. We had already prepared the bacon and roasted the garlic. He chose to fry the bacon instead of baking it because he likes it more crispy. The recipe was otherwise followed as is, except for the leafy part. As is common to most men, looking beyond what is in front is too much. The arugula was buried in the veggie crisper at the bottom of the fridge and the spring mix was on the shelf in front. Oh well, it didn’t likely make that much of a difference.

Typical french toast is sweet and full of baked goody-ness. This is the total opposite. Savory and hearty. I see why it was in an article titled Eat Like a Man. I still wasn’t feeling up to par, but the smell wafting upstairs was not to be resisted. I had trouble eating 1 piece, I think the boys might have had full bellies on 1 piece too. What a great alternative for dinner. It might look intimidating at first glance, but please try this, you will not be sorry.

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