When I was a kid, French toast (or Eggy Bread) was usually a savory breakfast item made simply by dipping slices of bread in beaten eggs and frying them. I’d typically eat this with sausages, maybe some eggs, some bacon and probably some baked beans. No. Definitely some baked beans (we’ll revisit this love affair in another post). Now that I’m in the U.S., my eggy bread days appear to be behind me, and although I thoroughly enjoy its more common sugary cousin, there are days when I’d rather just have a nice thick slice of savory French toast.
Today I’ve decided to satisfy my inner 8-year-old self with some good ol’ eggy bread. I served this with sautéed peppers and tomatoes (as I do with my favorite Nigerian breakfasts); some bacon because, well, bacon; and topped it all off with a nice runny sunny side up egg (and some baby arugula to help ease the guilt). The result? Another glorious weekend brunch.
Yields 2-3 servings
A medium onion, thinly sliced
A large bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ a habanero pepper (optional)
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced (try to remove seeds/excess water)
Olive oil, as needed
3 sprigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 strips of bacon, thinly sliced
Savory French Toast
2-3 large eggs, beaten
2-4 tbsp of milk
½ teaspoon of thyme
½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
4-6 slices of any good quality bread, 1 inch thick (I used ciabatta)
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of oil or as needed
Sunny Side Up Egg
2-3 large eggs
Butter, as needed
Bacon grease (optional)
Arugula, as needed
1. If making bacon, preheat oven to 200˚C (400˚F).
2. Coat a frying pan with fair amount of oil over high heat.
3. Add onions and lower to medium heat. Simmer for about five minutes then add peppers and garlic. Cook for an additional five minutes then add tomatoes and thyme.
4. Sautee vegetables until tender (about 5-10 more minutes) then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove thyme sprigs and set cooked vegetables aside once ready, or keep warm over very low heat, stirring from time to time.
5. If using bacon, line bacon strips flat on baking tray (bacon may touch, but do not overlap or they will stick together). Place bacon in oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
6. While bacon is in oven, place a frying pan over medium heat with oil and butter.
7. While pan heats, pour eggs, milk, thyme, pepper and salt into a shallow baking dish and mix well.
8. Coat slices of bread in egg mix then place in heated frying pan. Cook until golden brown on each side. Remove from oil.
9. Remove bacon from oven and place on cooling rack or paper towel to drain excess oil and allow bacon to become extra crispy. Save bacon grease from pan.
10. Transfer bacon grease to frying pan and place over medium-high heat (adding a little butter here also works wonders ? ). If not using bacon grease, you may substitute with butter or oil. Fry egg over medium heat until egg is just cooked and yolk still runny.
11. Plate French toast, sautéed vegetables, bacon and sunny side up eggs with arugula and serve.