If you watched this most recent holiday-themed video attempt, you'll recall that all Christmas stockings are not created equal and that it's important to remember that Matt's Jewish. With that in mind, I didn't want to let another Jewish holiday come and go without a proper culinary dedication. I also really wanted to eat this apple-Gruyère French toast with red onion, which Melissa Clark somewhat recently presented as an "Alternative for Latke Lovers" in her New York Times column.
The New York Times / Melissa Clark
2 1 3/4-inch-thick slices challah bread from middle of loaf
3 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small apple, cored, quartered and very thinly sliced
Fried eggs, for serving, optional.
Place one slice of bread on kitchen counter, the bottom crust nearest you. Cut into bottom crust, parallel to counter, to make a pocket. Do not cut all the way to top of slice; bread should remain attached there. Tuck half the cheese and onion slices in pocket. Repeat with other slice.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour custard into a wide, shallow dish. Soak stuffed bread in custard, turning once halfway through, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the apple slices in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Place bread slices in pan, covering apples. Arrange remaining apple slices on top of bread; cook 1 minute more.
Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to medium; cook until bottoms are golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn bread and apples and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve topped with fried eggs if desired.
Yield: 2 servings.