Jammy French Toast

December 28, 2007

Use your favorite jam for this fun twist on traditional French toast. SAM

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup fruit jam
16 slices thin-sliced bread
8 teaspoons softened butter, plus extra for serving
Confectioners’ sugar
Maple syrup, hot

In a shallow mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and half-and-half and pour into a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Make 8 butter-and-jam sandwiches and place them in the egg batter, turning twice to coat all sides. Lightly grease a griddle or skillet and heat to medium-high. Fry the sandwiches about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with extra butter and hot maple syrup.
Makes 8 servings.


Tex-Mex Grits

December 27, 2007

The good news about this yummy grits casserole is you have to taste it along the way to make sure the seasonings are right. Leave out the chili powder entirely for a milder taste or go for the burn. You can make it with regular grits, but the stone-ground variety, found in most natural foods sections, are much richer and nuttier. Do not use instant grits. SAM

3 cups water or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup stone-ground or regular grits (not instant)
8 ounces white Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
8 ounces hot or medium salsa
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium chef’s pan over high heat, bring the water and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until thick, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, half-and-half, and garlic, stirring until melted. Add the butter and eggs, stirring until melted. Add the salsa and chili powder. Taste a small amount to check the seasonings and add more salt and/or chili powder if necessary. Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole and bake for 50 minutes or until lightly browned and firm.
Makes 6 servings.