We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: How to eat French toast and maple syrup for dinner without it tasting like breakfast.
Breakfast for dinner is fun every once in a while, but sometimes, you want to eat French toast not just because it reminds you of the morning. You want to eat French toast because it embodies everything delicious in the world: it's eggy; it's cheesy; it's fried.
Tonight, you're going to learn that yes, you can eat French toast and maple syrup for dinner without it tasting like breakfast. The first step is to add savory Gruyère cheese, lots of garlic, and thyme-scented mushrooms. Then, take the syrup you'd normally pour over the toast and use it to dress sautéed chard, instead.
With plenty of vegetables and no cloyingly sweet breakfast flavors in sight, this meal is dinner for dinner. There just happens to be French toast, too.
1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 pounds rainbow chard
1 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons port
1 loaf challah bread
3/4 pounds Gruyère, sliced
1 teaspoon minced sage
1/2 large red onion
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup vegetable stock
You probably have canola oil, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, milk, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, and maple syrup in your kitchen. If not, add those to the list, too.
1. Toast the cashews in a skillet over medium heat. Chop roughly and set aside.
2. Prepare the chard by removing the ribs and cutting them into 1/2-inch pieces, then coarsely chopping the leaves.
3. Heat a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Slice the mushrooms, then add them to the pan with 3 cloves of smashed and peeled garlic. Sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices. Make a slit at the 1/2-inch mark in each slice, forming a pocket. Lay a few slices of cheese inside the bread in a single layer.
5. Mix 6 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of milk, minced sage, and a pinch of salt in a shallow pan. Let the bread soak for 2 minutes on each side until it is completely covered in the mixture.
6. Return to the mushrooms. Add the thyme and the port and season with salt and some fresh pepper. Set aside.
7. Get out a second large skillet. Melt a generous amount of butter and cook the French toast until golden brown with melty cheese, about 5 minutes.
8. Wipe out the pan and heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chopped onion, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, and the chard rib pieces. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Then flip your French toast.
9. Return to the chard. Add the leaves to the ribs and cook until wilted, 3 more minutes. Add the raisins and the stock, then cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Transfer the chard to a serving dish, toss with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the Sherry vinegar, and top with toasted cashews. Serve alongside the French toast, each slice loaded with a generous helping of mushrooms.
Photos by James Ransom