I LOVE strawberries. Did I ever mention that? haha. Well, I needed to use these strawberries that I bought yesterday fast, and decided making a nice compote would be great for things like french toast, cheese cake topping, just taking a spoon and eating straight out of the pan, etc.
One of my college friends came to stay with me this weekend, and we made French toast this morning. This is totally one of those “candy for breakfast” meals, and was fantastic! So yesterday at the farmer’s market I bought a beautiful loaf of whole wheat bread for the two of us (since I had someone to share wheat goodness with haha!), and proceeded in making french toast.
There are a couple of methods that I have seen for french toast. One is to just dip the bread in the egg/milk batter and then fry it on the griddle, but it’s so much better if you just let the bread sit in the batter and soak it all up. And of course, butter. You must fry French toast in LOTS of butter. This is a key ingredient. Don’t try to be healthy, after all, if you are going to the effort of making essentially candy for breakfast, you might as well pull out all the stops
2 eggs, beaten well
1/2-3/4 cup milk (didn’t really measure)
seeds from 1/4 of a vanilla bean
bigger pinch cinnamon
2 tbs. honey
4 hearty sized slices of bread (can be regular or gluten free – GF Buckwheat bread works well here)
lots of butter
1. Mix all the batter ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Lay bread slices out on a large 9×13″ pan. Pour batter over the bread.
3. After 5-10 minutes, flip bread and let soak some more.
4. In a cast iron pan/griddle, melt 2-3 tbs. butter (med-high heat). Add bread and cook about 3 min on each side until starts to brown. If you don’t have a good thick coating of liquid butter in your pan (about 1/4″ – 1/2″ deep), add more. I probably went through about 1/2 a stick here.
5. When done, set aside.
I used lemon balm in this. It’s a member of the mint family, and has a distinctive lemony flavor. I got it yesterday for $1, and it was the perfect addition to this compote. If you have the opportunity to try some, I highly recommend it!
1 qt. fresh strawberries
2 tbs. brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped lemon balm
1. Add strawberries and sugar to pan, mash with fork, heat on medium.
2. Stir often, keep mashing strawberries as you go, let come to a simmer.
3. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until sauce reduces and thickens a bit, add in lemon balm.
4. Cook for about 5 minutes more.
2. Start with French toast, top with strawberry compote, and then whipped cream, garnish with strawberry and more lemon balm, and serve quickly before the whipped cream melts from the hot strawberries!