This savory French toast gets the whole breakfast -- eggs, cheese, toast -- into one dish. It would be excellent for a leisurely holiday breakfast or brunch.
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Margy@hidethecheese is an attorney from Maryland.
WHAT: A savory, oozy, gruyere-y French toast, topped with mushrooms.
HOW: Saute mushrooms with garlic, port, and thyme. Stuff bread with gruyere; soak in milk and eggs. Sear the bread, top with mushrooms, devour, and then go back to sleep.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This salty and protein-rich toast hits a lot of breakfast high points. There's nothing quite like cutting into your French toast and finding a gooey, melty cheese interior -- margy@hidethecheese really lives up to her name. We'd gladly eat this for dinner, too. —The Editors
Heat the butter and canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Turn the mushrooms but let them sit for a minute or two between stirs so that they brown. Sauté until they are tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme, port, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and some pepper and cook for another minute until the liquid has thickened. If you don't like the strong taste of garlic, remove the cloves from the pan. Set aside.
While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the bread. Cut the loaf into 1-inch thick slices. Cut each slice again in the same direction, leaving one side intact. Lay a few slices of Gruyère inside the bread in a single layer.
Mix the eggs, milk, sage, remaining salt and a few more grinds of pepper in a large shallow bowl. Add the bread slices and let them sit for about 2 minutes on one side. Check the bread a few times while it is soaking. It should soak through, but you don't want it to get too soft or it will fall apart as you lift it. Turn and let the bread sit for about another 2 minutes on the other side. Both sides should be completely covered in the egg mixture.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and add enough butter to generously coat the pan. Cook the French toast until it is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes on each side. Resist the temptation to turn the heat up to cook it faster because patience will get you a melted cheese center.
Serve 1 slice on each plate topped with mushrooms. Pass the extras at the table.