Monday, February 22, 2010

A Toast! to Belgium - Belgian Toast

Sadly this post is not going to be about beer. ;) Although I think I need to have my brother do a guest post, because he just finished his Oatmeal Stout, but more on that later. It is also not going to be about French toast pressed in a Belgian waffle iron. (an inspired idea to be sure). This is going to be about what *I* know as "Belgian Toast"; better known as "uitsmijter" in it's country or origin.

Granted this is not a sweet dish such as French Toast or a Belgian (Brussels or Liège) Waffle, but it does contain toast and most importantly, CHEESE. And as you all know, anytime there is cheese involved, I am all over it like wax on Gouda. (Har Dee Har Har! Cheesy Humor)

This is really more of a hybrid recipe between Julia Child's Oeufs en Croustades and the ever popular Oeufs en Cocotte; with a twist of course. Cause ya just gotta have a twist. ;) Everything's better with a twist. Scotch and Soda has it; good detective novels have it; some cinnamon doughnuts have it; even Chubby Checker had it.... Well, so too does Belgian Toast.....

OK, I think I have established that this recipe contains toast... and a twist. My personal preference is sourdough, I find it to be great for these sorts of breakfast/brunch type foods containing eggs and cheese. That pretty much sums up the ingredient list as well; Toast, Cheese and Eggs. Oh, and some butter, but that kind of goes without saying I guess. I suppose olive oil would work just as well, that is also a personal preference thing. So It is OK to use Olive oil and Whole Wheat Bread or Canola Oil and French Bread or even cottonseed oil and Buttermilk or Potato Bread..... :) Don't ya love it when a recipe is open to so much interpretation?

While the ingredient list is fairly simple, the presentation is still mighty impressive. Proof positive that you don't need a million different ingredients to make a delectable dish of fluffy heaven. This is primarily to do with the fact that eggs are just about the most miraculous natural food on the planet. (Aside from cheese, though cheese requires human intervention)

Belgian Toast

For each person you will need.....
2 slices of Sourdough Bread
a little butter (or oil of your choice) for a baking dish
2 Large Eggs, separated
Slices of Grana Padano (though Parmigiano-Reggiano works too)
Salt and Pepper
A little Shredded Grana Padano

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
So this morning I sliced up my Sourdough "Long" into 3/4 inch slices.

Then "toast" the bread in the toaster... (Did I mention that I really like sourdough?)

Now, crack and separate your eggs, making sure that no yolks contaminate the whites.

Butter an oven proof dish and arrange the toasts in the dish.

Lay thin slices of Grana Padano on each toast.

Beat the egg whites, with a pinch of salt, to firm peaks.

Divide the fluffy egg foam between the toasts. (I have no idea what else to call it, cause it's not a meringue due to lack of sugar)

Make a well in each egg foam mound with the back of a spoon.

Carefully ease the yolks into the wells.

Sprinkle the yolk with shredded Grana Padano and season with fresh ground pepper, if desired.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the white is nicely browned.

Remove the dish from the oven and gently move to a plate.

MMMMMMM Cheesy golden goodness on a fluffy cloud of deliciousness!



Joanna said...

Wow, that looks delicious! I could definitely have that for breakfast or lunch or dinner even :)

Patti T. said...

This seems like a dumb word to use but they are SO cute! What a presentation, who wouldn't love this?

DDpie said...

Holy cow batman! I think I need a couple of those NOW!

Bob said...

I have never seen such a thing before. It is glorious, I need to make it.

Unknown said...

omg! that looks AMAZING!!

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DutchBakerGirl said...

Wow! These look delicious! You do come up with some great stuff, Shane. Patti is right--they are cute!