Today, David and I decided to venture outside of the lovely little nest we've created in Seattle (that can be a scary proposition--believe me). Our destination: Bainbridge Island--just a hop, skip and jump (or ferry ride) away from downtown.
As soon as we got onto the island, we made a beeline for Cafe Nola, a restaurant that was profiled earlier this year on the Food Network show, Giadda's Weekend Getaways. In particular we were hoping to try the caramel pecan french toast that made Giadda squeal with delight (literally).
It was, of course, wonderful. Though if I were in charge of the kitchen I'd add a bit more of the caramel and the pecans. Really, can you have too much of either? Here's the good news, though--the recipe for the dish was added to foodtv.com shortly after Giadda's show aired, so I can make it exactly as I want, whenever I want (and I may just take myself up on that little offer, since hoofing it over to Bainbridge just for french toast could become a little pricey).
Café Nola Caramel Pecan French Toast
1 loaf challah bread
Melted butter, to oil griddle
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Cut challah bread in 1-inch thick slices. Allow to sit out for awhile to dry out.
Heat griddle to 350 degrees F and lightly brush with a butter soaked piece of paper towel.
Combine eggs, heavy cream, orange zest and juice, cinnamon and ground nutmeg in a shallow wide dish. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture allowing it to soak in on both sides. Transfer to each piece to the hot griddle and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Try to flip only once.
Serve topped with store-bought caramel sauce, chopped pecans and orange bourbon butter.
For the orange bourbon butter:
1 pound unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur (recommended: Cointreau)
2 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons orange zest
Cream the butter in a mixer. Add the bourbon and orange zest and mix well. Leave at room temperature and serve with the French toast.