Sunday, February 21, 2016

Challah French Toast with Orange Blossom

This french toast recipe is a perfect dish to serve at a Moroccan-inspired family brunch. I love this recipe because I get to twist-up my leftover Challah bread with one of my favorite Moroccan aromas. The soft and succulent texture obtained when using the brioche-like bread makes challah my bread of choice for French toast. I was excited when I crossed Ina Garten's recipe. The added orange zest coupled with droplets of orange blossom is what modern Sephardi cooking is made of, truly a match made for breakfast! Enjoy!

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Prep time 10 min | Total Time 30 min | Yields 8 | Dairy

Adapted from Ina Garten: Barefoot Contessa Family Style



6 extra-large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon orange
blossom water, plus more
for a light sprinkle on top

1 tablespoon honey,
plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large loaf challah

Unsalted butter

Vegetable oil

Confectioners' sugar

1.  Heat oven to 250 degrees.
2.  In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, 1/2 tsp orange blossom, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices.
3.  Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.
4.  Heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.
5.  Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven.
6.  Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked.
7. Serve hot with a light drizzle (not too much, its a very powerful ingredients), confectioners' sugar and/or honey.

Orange Blossom, Banana and Strawberry Smoothie

I love orange blossom water, an aphrodisiac coming from a fragrant orange adding a fruity aroma to sweet dishes. A staple in Moroccan pastries, orange blossom can be sprinkled on couscous, and most commonly in almond meal based desserts. Due to its high concentration, it's important not to pour too much. It adds a really nice "je ne c'est quoi" to your standard smoothie. Perfect for a Sunday brunch smoothie. I hope you enjoy it!

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Total time 5 min | serves 3 to 4



1 bananas
1 cup of strawberries
(stem removed & well soaked)
or frozen strawberries
1/2 orange juice or milk
1/3 cup of ice or water
2 tsp of orange blossom
Tiny pinch of salt

1. In a blender or Magic Bullet, blend the banana,    strawberries, liquids and tiny pinch of salt.
2. Add in the orange blossom and give your blended three quick pulses.
3. Pour in a cup and serve.