Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Last Meal, French Toast?

It is sort of depressing, but have you ever thought of what you would want to eat for your last meal if you knew you were going to die? I've thought about it a few times. It always come down to between Del Taco and french toast. (yeah weird combination, I know.) But if I really had to pick, of course, it would be the FRENCH TOAST. 

I love love LOVE french toast. There is just something about it. Not sure if its the texture, sweet and savory flavors or the combination of everything, I just love it. The strange thing is, I am not a huge maple syrup fan. When it comes to the syrup, I will put barely any on it... my favorite french toast is the kind where you don't need any syrup, maybe it has a special sauce or it's stuffed with something sweeter. Any way enough about syrup!!!  I love french toast so much that if a restaurant serves french toast, I order it every time.. unless a *certain* person ( not saying any names, but whom I happen to be married to) gives me a hard time about always eating french toast, then I step out of my comfort zone and order something else yet wishing I had just ordered the FT. I have discovered waffle houses DON'T serve FT, but if you ask really nicely the cook might be able to whip some up for you. Also, not every restaurant's FT is the same, sometimes it just sucks, Wamp womp! But sometimes they serve something fancy! 

In Hillcrest (San Diego, CA) there is a tiny little diner... when I say tiny, I mean tiny! tiny tables, tiny walkways, tiny space,super crowded and noisy, but that creates an atmosphere which is alive and fun!
 ... the place is the Crest Cafe. 
Now I've only eaten here once for brunch, and that's a crime, because I know these people love french toast just as much as I do! SERIOUSLY! They have 5 different types of  FT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Regular, Three Raisin, Apple Cinnamon, Orange Marmalade, and Crème Brûlée!
I'm such a fan of the fancy french toast and I had the hardest time deciding which one... my heart told me to order them all, but my stomach told me Crème Brûlée.. Mmmm Mmmm that thick French Toast with whipped cream and fresh strawberries topped with crème brûlée sauce, I just couldn't resist! When our waitress brought it to the table my eyes lit up and my stomach prepared itself. Needless to say, I licked the plate clean. This was by far, the best experience I have had with french toast at a restaurant, it was so perfect. If you are fortunate enough to live near the Hillcrest area, or plan to go to San Diego on a trip, the Crest Cafe is worth checking out! I suggest trying one of their Fancy french toasts but everything on the menu looked so yummy!

Now that FT was amazing, but the most AMAZING FT, I have ever eaten.... well, I made it myself!
French Toast made with GUAVA! Crunchy, Oozey, Sweet, Fruity, Bready Goodness! 

How we met: 
I was watching the food network and 'Throwdown with Bobby Flay' came on. I don't usually watch that show but since it was about FT, I decided I would. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did!!!
After watching Bobby Flay loose in his own throwdown, and seeing La Isla's customers rave about how amazing this FT is, I decided I would have to try it! I found the recipe AND a video too (here), then I began collecting the ingredients. Regular grocery stores don't carry some of these ingredients and you might have to search around for the special stuff like Challah Bread and Guava (Don't substitute these!!). I found The Village Mill Bread Co. in Del Mar, CA who serves up fresh Challah bread daily and one of my friends from the scrapbook store went to a Cuban Market place and snatched me up some Guava sauce, that pretty much made my day!

I followed the recipe almost as exact as I could. I did not have guava shells, so I skipped them in the stuffing, still adding guava sauce to it. One of my favorite parts of the recipe, besides the guava sauce, was coating the french toast in Almond and Cornflake crumbs! I also realized something that I had been doing wrong for forever before doing this recipe... I was not BAKING the FT after browning the outside, this step allows for the FT to be evenly cooked. No more soggy parts!!  After I pulled them out of the oven, the smell filled the kitchen. Still piping hot, I put one on a plate, drizzled with Guava Marmalade and took a huge bite. OHHH MY GOOODNESS. This was Heaven!
The crunchy coating and the guava, strawberry, cream cheese filling really made this french toast spectacular!!!! At first I was shocked, was this the best thing I have ever eaten....? Did I really just cook this?! I did. Upon finishing up two slices, I was feeling oh so proud of myself for: 1) following a recipe that actually turned out and 2) I just ate the best thing I EVER ate. This might be one of the top 10 greatest moments of my life.  I was so glad that I had used the entire loaf to make La Isla French Toast, because now I had leftovers!!! The next day, I took a couple slices to the scrapbook store with me, along with the guava marm. Even cold, La Isla's Stuffed French Toast, was a hit!

 Three things I learned which I will always do when making FT now and forever:
 Brown on stove, then bake the rest of the way.
Add an almond and cornflake coating.
 Use Challah Bread. (if available!)

 Since then, I've only made this recipe a few times. It's not the quickest thing to make and the right ingredients are not the easiest thing to find... but when the opportunity presents itself, La Isla's Stuffed French Toast is on the menu!

So this would me my last meal, what is yours?

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