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Video: Try challah french toast with whiskey sauce

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    >> especially when there's a little whiskey and bourbon involved. acclaimed chef and partner of new york city 's arlington club lawrence has some good ideas.

    >> good morning, nice to see.

    >> a little french toast ?

    >> french toast .

    >> with the authentic french way?

    >> not too sure. we have some spices so we're going to do the batter.

    >> what are in the spices? cinnamon, nutmeg.

    >> ginger, whole spice.

    >> the whole spice rack just about.

    >> we'll do the batter, some of the rub, the eggs, orange zest .

    >> custard.

    >> sugar. here we go. a little milk. and cream.

    >> this is very low fat.

    >> very.

    >> do we add the spices?

    >> we add the spices, yep.

    >> you're using hala. hala!

    >> we're going to soak them inside.

    >> let it soak a long time?

    >> five, six minutes.

    >> so it gets really wet.

    >> now we have a hot pan on the stove which i'll warm up in there.

    >> plain butterscotch?

    >> plain butterscotch. we have the pan for the toast.

    >> right.

    >> i'm going to melt a little bit of butter. maybe a little bit too much.

    >> i was going to say that's a little bit of butter.

    >> how hot do you want your pan?

    >> pretty hot especially at the beginning we'll lower it down a little bit after.

    >> because you want to get a good sear on the toast?

    >> yes.

    >> you want to get it crunchy.

    >> i'm going to put a mix of spice and sugar, so it will caramelize in the pan.

    >> a secret, nice trick. let's pretend that's been soaking a little bit longer.

    >> all right.

    >> there we go.

    >> do you that how long on each side roughly?

    >> probably three minutes because the egg has to cook inside so here i have my butterscotch sauce, i'll put some banana slice inside.

    >> you got some shelf pecans.

    >> fresh.

    >> that i mashed myself, spent all morning doing that, al.

    >> you're going to cook this down so it gets thicker?

    >> i'm going to cook it down a little bit and then cook the banana and when they are cooked, i'm going to throw this on here.

    >> what do you serve this with here on the side?

    >> this is the monkey bread .

    >> the monkey bread .

    >> sounds good.

    >> made with orange and butter.

    >> any dad would be lucky to get this for father's day.

    >> this is the popova stuffed with creamed spinach, crispy short ribs, poached eggs and mushroom.

TODAY recipes
updated 4/15/2013 6:03:12 PM ET 2013-04-15T22:03:12

Recipe: Challah French toast with gingerbread spices

Ingredients
  • Gingerbread spices:
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • For French toast:
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tsps dried orange zest
  • 3 tbsp of gingerbread spices
  • 2 loaves of challah, sliced into twelve 1 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 tbsp confectioners
  • For butterscotch sauce:
  • 4 ounces butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound plus 8 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 ounces Meyers Dark Rum
  • 3 bananas, sliced on a bias
  • 6 ounces roasted pecans, chopped
Preparation

Make spice blend:

In a small mixing bowl, combine the spices and sugar.

Soak challah:

Whisk together the cream, milk, vanilla, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, orange blossom water, bourbon, orange zest and spice mix in a large rimmed baking dish. Soak the challah in the egg mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, giving both sides a minute of soaking.

Cook challah:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Scatter a teaspoon of spice blend to bottom of pan or sprinkle a little on each slice. Lay slices of soaked challah on to heated surface to sear. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Sprinkle spice on side facing up without spice. Turnover and cook for additional 2 minutes. Transfer cooked challah to a large baking sheet.

Bake challah:

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until challah has crisped up ever so slightly. 

Butterscotch sauce:

Bring all ingredients to a low boil. Simmer together approximately 10 minutes on low heat. Cool until ready to serve.

Serve: 

Remove French toast from the oven and place on an oval plate. In a sauté pan, ladle about 8 ounces of butterscotch sauce and bring to boil. Toss sliced bananas into boiling sauce along with the roasted pecans. Cook for 2 minutes. With a spoon, gently lay bananas and nuts onto the French toast. Drizzle with reduced sauce and dust with powdered sugar.  Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Brioche monkey bread

Ingredients
  • Brioche dough:
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 ounce fresh yeast
  • 1 /2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • For cinnamon sugar mix:
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 ounces cinnamon
  • Toasted pecans:
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • Whiskey caramel sauce:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Orange whiskey butter:
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon grand marnier
  • 1 drop orange bitters
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons whiskey
  • Garnish:
  • Powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
Preparation

Make the brioche:

Heat the milk until it feels warm to the touch, 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Crumble the yeast into the milk and stir until dissolved. 

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, the yeast mixture, heavy cream and sour cream and mix over low speed. Add the eggs, and stir until the mixture begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Add the softened butter and mix again until blended and a sticky dough forms. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, for approximately 2 hours.

With your hands, flatten the dough. Using a rolling pin, carefully roll dough to a thickness of ¾-inch. Using a 1 ¾-inch round mold, cut dough into 12 pieces.

Make the cinnamon sugar mix:

Blend all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.

Place the melted butter in deep bowl.  Dip each piece of dough into the melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mix to coat evenly.

Toast the pecans:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss the pecans with the sugar and spread on a sheet pan.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes tossing frequently until toasted. Reserve for later use.

Make the whiskey caramel sauce:

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Once the mixture turns into caramel, 10 to 15 minutes remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of water, sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla seeds until combined. Add to caramel mixture and stir until combined. Simmer mixture for 2 minutes, strain (discarding any solids) and allow liquid to cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Pour enough of the whiskey caramel sauce into an 8-inch cake pan to fill ¼ up. Arrange dough in one even layer over the sauce. Allow to sit, in room temperature until buns have doubled in size and is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes.

Make the orange butter:

Place the butter in the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat in remaining ingredients one at a time in the order listed, making sure the mixture is well combined after each ingredient. Whisk until mixture becomes fluffy in texture, 3 to 5 minutes.

Bake the sticky buns: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake sticky buns until the dough is cooked through and the caramel has thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and while sticky buns are warm, drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and brush generously with orange butter. Top with toasted pecans and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with grated orange zest and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Poached egg and short rib popover

Ingredients
  • For short ribs:
  • 1 large slice of bacon
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed
  • 2 beef short ribs, about 2 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved and peeled
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 5 black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup ruby port
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • For popovers:
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs. kosher salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
  • For spinach and mushroom mixture:
  • 2 cups diced portabella mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups grated Fontina cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 bag triple washed spinach
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • 1 ounce brown butter
  • For hollandaise:
  • 2 tbsp butter, lightly browned
  • 2 tbsp sliced shallot
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sliced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/8 cup brandy
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh sage leaf
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup clarified unsalted butter, warm
  • Tabasco to taste
  • 1 tbsp truffle pieces, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. truffle oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • To serve:
  • 6 popovers
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 bunches watercress, split evenly into 6 pieces
Preparation

For short ribs:

Make a bouquet garni by laying the bacon strip on a flat surface. Arrange the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and celery stalk on one end of the bacon strip. Roll up the bacon. Tie the bouquet garni with kitchen string.

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a deep baking dish and brown nicely on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a plate and discard all but 3 tablespoons of fat from pan. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, shallots and black peppercorns to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for two minutes. Add the bouquet garni, wine and port. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by 2/3, about 10 minutes.         

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Return the ribs to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot loosely with foil and place in the oven. 

Bake for 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool and cut into 12, 2-inch squares.

For spinach and mushroom mixture:

In a medium size saucepot set over medium heat, add the heavy cream and allow to reduce by half, about 7 to 8 minutes. Set a large sauté pan over high heat and add spinach and sauté, making sure the spinach stays green in color, about 2 minutes (if pan is not large enough, this can be done in multiple batches). Season the cooked spinach with salt and pepper and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Allow to cool.

Transfer spinach to a colander and press firmly to allow any juices and excess water to drain. Transfer ¼ of the spinach to a blender and puree until smooth. Slowly add all the brown butter and reduced heavy cream. Continue to puree until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.

Heat the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms until caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining sautéed spinach and cook until warmed through. Carefully add the spinach puree and fold in the Fontina cheese. Cook until cheese is fully melted and season with salt and pepper. 

For truffled mushroom hollandaise:

Lightly brown the butter, add shallots, garlic and mushrooms, and cook until browned. Add the brandy, cook until reduced to a syrup. Cover with chicken stock, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, reducing by half.

Remove the thyme sprigs and discard, placing all remaining ingredients in a blender. Add the sage leaf and puree until smooth. Place a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk the egg yolks until they become light yellow in color and begin to froth, about 5 minutes.

Warm the clarified butter and slowly add to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Add reserved mushroom puree and finish with chopped truffles and truffle oil to taste.

For popovers:

(makes 12 popovers)

Place a 6-cup popover pan in the bottom third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drips. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the milk until small bubbles form around the edges. Put the flour and salt in a fine-mesh sieve and sift onto a sheet of waxed paper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t cook, then gradually whisk in the flour mixture until almost smooth.

Remove the popover pan from the oven and spray the cups with nonstick vegetable spray. Fill the prepared cups about three-fourths full with batter and sprinkle each with 1/2 oz. cheese.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Continue baking until the popovers are browned and puffed, 30 minutes more; do not open the oven after rotating the pan.

Invert the pan and remove the popovers. Serve immediately. Using a paper towel, wipe out the excess fat from the popover cups. Heat the pan in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat to bake the remaining batter.

To serve:

Halve the popovers, lengthwise. Warm the spinach and mushroom mixture, and spoon into each popover half, until about 60 percent full. Reheat short ribs in a sauté pan set over medium-high heat until crispy. Evenly distribute over each spinach and mushroom mixture. 

Poach the eggs and carefully transfer to over the short ribs, so that each popover half is topped with an egg. Cover each egg with a spoonful of mushroom hollandaise. Garnish with chives and watercress. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

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