Meatless Monday: Almond French Toast

Photo by feministjulie

We're big fans of breakfast for dinner. Not only is it always tasty, but it's also an easy way to go meatless. This luxurious French toast from America's Test Kitchen is a substantial main dish -- pair it with scrambled eggs or fruit or even a salad, and don't forget to wear pajamas!

Almond French Toast
Serves 4
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
8 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or good-quality challah
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Triple Sec
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Maple syrup

Process ½ cup slivered almonds and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar in food processor until coarsely ground, 12 to 15 one-second pulses (you should have about ½ cup crumbs).

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Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place bread on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200 degrees.

Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt, vanilla, Triple Sec, and orange zest in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking pan.

Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon nut mixture over one side of each slice of soaked bread.

Heat ½ tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet, nut-mixture side down first, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. (If toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly.) Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding ½ tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm, passing maple syrup separately.

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