Sunday, March 29, 2009

Experimental Cooking : Breadless French Toast

Bread is something I almost never have around. It goes bad too quickly and I grow enough mold around here as it is. It's really nice to have on the weekends, though, because it's such a fundamental part of a leisurely breakfast: eggs with toast or French toast. While thinking how bored I was with the various edible options available to me this morning, I decided to see if it might be possible to make French toast with crackers instead. It is! Kind of.

I did some googling and determined that if this had been tried before, it at least wasn't described in the way in which I was searching for it.

I got out my trusty Modified 1964 Joy of Cooking French Toast Recipe and got to work. I pretty much cut it in half:

  • 2 eggs (I didn't cut these in half, because I figured I need more to hold it together)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 a cup of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon poorly poured vanilla (no more than a tablespoon, I'm sure)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (I put in an extra tsp by accident and just now noticed.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 8 Jacob's Cream Crackers (the ones that Wallace and Gromit eat)
I mixed it up and put some whole crackers in the liquid. I decided that it wasn't going to work without breaking them up into little pieces, as if you were going to add them to soup. Perhaps if the cracker exteriors were sanded somehow, but that's not exactly practical. I let the cracker batter mixture soak for a few minutes while I made coffee.

I used a 1/3 cup scoop and the first couple seemed closer to a scramble than something I could flip, but I'm not terribly good at frying things. I think there was too much liquid, so it either needs more crackers or perhaps only one egg. Different crackers might be good, too. I have a feeling this might be good using Triscuits.

It kind of turned out ok. It tasted pretty good and you get random bits of crunchiness here at there. I applied plenty of maple syrup and cinnamon, so the effect was close to the same experience, with less sponginess.

I ended up burning the last one, but the contents of the plate above were just the right serving size for me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Spring!

It was gloomy and soggy today, but it looks as if it will be nice here again, starting tomorrow.

For the next few hours, you'll just have to enjoy these.

I'm looking forward to seeing what will be blooming in the weeks ahead.

More spring pics.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blu Blogging : Trout Sampler

The last time I was at Blu Seafood and Bar, they had an NC Sunburst Farms Trout Sampler appetizer, which I had as my meal. It doesn't look like a lot of food for a whole meal, but pretty much everything was meant to be eaten with their delicious bread. I let my MFRs have a little of it, but most of the loaves were mine, all mine. From left to right, there was cold-smoked trout, hot-smoked trout and cured trout with avocado. In the back row there was trout dip and trout roe on creme fraiche, wth egg and onions. I'm very fond of trout, so this was all quite a treat.

For dessert, Chef Tim Lyons experimented with this maple creme brulee, which was excellent. I hope he makes it on a regular basis.

This Wednesday night, they are having a Veracruz wine dinner, featuring four courses of Mexican food prepared by Tim and his cooking staff, from the Yucatan. Dinner starts at 7pm and reservations are required.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

ACME Blogging : $12.95 Tuesdays

Every Tuesday of every week, ACME Food & Beverage Co. has been offering all their entrees for $12.95, which is quite a savings. It's a long drive after work, so I normally prefer to go on the weekends, but if you live in Chapel Hill or Carrboro, you're crazy to miss it. Be sure to make reservations, because it's been packed.

I decided to have the special fried shad roe appetizer, which was already $12.95 but both MFRs took advantage of the special. I'd never had shad roe before, so I was eager to try it, despite being tempted by the tilefish on the menu. Our waiter, Justin, described the texture as similar to hamburger, which was an apt comparison. It was served with cheese grits, bacon, butter, shallots and a little lemon juice. It was extremely good.

Chef and owner Kevin Callaghan was sporting a sombrero all evening, because he didn't have a ball-cap handy.

We tried one of Kevin's new creations in progress, three delicious donuts covered with warm chocolate sauce, served with Captain Crunch ice cream. The donuts were absolutely wonderful. The ice cream was very colorful and the house made ice cream itself was very good. I would have probably appreciated the combination more if I'd grown up on kids cereal. In fact, this was the first time I'd ever eaten Captain Crunch. Chocolate hazelnut ice cream, which was on the dessert menu that night, would be fantastic with the donuts and I'd love to try them together.

Taverna Nikos Blogging : New Website

Taverna Nikos finally has a new website, so if you haven't been there yet, you can take a look at their menu. It's always a relief to me when menus are available on-line, in case I've forgotten some of the details about what I've eaten. Of course, those pesky specials keep those of us with early symptoms of senility on our toes.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Anotherthyme Blogging : MSB Special

I went to Anotherthyme recently and my 2nd Most Faithful Reader had very elegant gumbo that he said was very good. I love the pepper placement.

I had the MSB special, which is an old favorite, heralding back from the days of Somethyme and Pyewacket. Of course, when Somethyme was open, I believe I was too young to appreciate such things. I didn't eat a lot back then. In fact, I didn't really start eating food until I was about 14. I suppose I've made up for it.

The MSB special is an openface sandwich with fried egg, avocado, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and cheese. I believe it had mustard, too, but I'm not exactly sure. It's wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Based on Anotherthyme's specials menu on the website, I don't think it's currently one of their specials, but I'm sure it will be back. Once it is, rush over there and get one.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Valentine Chocolate

Now that we've all had a chance to heal after Valentine's Day, I think it's time to reflect back on what was good about that week. Ok, ok, I realize that not all of you despise the holiday. Actually, my February 14th wasn't so bad either, because I chose that day to go pick out my new iPhone. My V-Day, was, in fact, awesome.

In any case, earlier that week I got a box of chocolates from Google Earth Evangelist's sister, SOGEE (Thank you!). It wasn't actually a Valentine gift, but it was definitely a nice gift. I've written about B.T. McElrath chocolates before and they are still truly wonderful.

This dark chocolate lemon cream was no exception. The passionfruit ones are still my favorite, though, and I intend to order several boxes of them someday.

I did get a Valentine gift from my Most Faithful Reader. Dark chocolate covered orange peel, particularly Leonidas, is my favorite candy and if I'm not careful, I can get carried away with eating it.

This may not seem shocking to many readers, but I'm the sort of person who can eat just one small piece of candy a day even if I'm sitting next to a entire bucket of it, as is the case at work. I don't generally eat snacks. I just don't even think of it. This may be related to its rarely occuring to me to take an analgesic when I have a headache. I'm hungry. You mean I can do something about that?

Dark chocolate covered orange peel, however, isn't too strong, too sweet or too rich. It's just right.