Sunday, June 6, 2010

Strawberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast. Would you like Strawberry Sauce with that?


I admit that my family and I have  become "Strawberry food snobs".  We like our berries fresh from the fields. We live near a local farmstand that grows organic berries, picked fresh daily.  They are the best I've ever tasted! We never wash them until right before eating them (lest they spoil faster).  We like berries that are dark red in the center, and we like them sweet.   Sometimes I buy strawberries elsewhere, and I am disappointed. They're tart and just not up to our standards. Such was the fate of some berries that I found in my fridge-- they were looking a little worse for wear.  These didn't come from our local farmstand, so they were shoved aside. I don't like to waste food, so I had to make a decision on how to use them.  I surveyed my kitchen and noticed a loaf of French bread that had gone a bit stale.  I originally bought it to make the Pioneer Woman's Cheesy Garlic Bread, but that never happened.  I also have a generous supply of free farm fresh eggs, courtesy of my horse's ranch where she lives.   An idea was born!


Borrowing a method I use to make homemade strawberry jam, I cooked the berries with sugar, a pinch of kosher salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pat of butter (the butter prevents foam from building).  I added 1/4 cup of water and brought this to a rolling boil.

One the cooked strawberries coat the back of  a spoon, I used my immersion blender to puree' the sauce. you could do this, in batches, with a blender.  After pouring it into a bowl, I decided to place it on a layer of ice and put it into the fridge.  Now, for the filling.  For inspiration, I borrowed the components I used to make Strawberry Blintzes. I didn't have ricotta cheese, but I figured that cream cheese would do the trick-- otherwise, I would have used a combo of both.


These berries are huge! My son bought them at a road stand, and I thought they looked a little worn for wear. These would be perfect.  I used an 8 oz package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, the zest of an orange, real vanilla, a pinch of kosher salt and, of course, strawberries. I chose six HUGE berries.  My food processor did the hard work for me. I set that aside.

For six slices of French bread, I used four eggs, about 1 cup of whole milk, and a splash of vanilla.  In my honest opinion, using fresh French bread doesn't work well, and the French toast can turn out really soggy. The bread soaked up all the custard!  I like to lightly oil my grill and then add a pat of butter for flavor. You can use all butter, if you wish.  Who doesn' t know how to cook French toast?!  Once I had a cooked side, I filled every other slice with the cream cheese spread, then put a slice right on top.  I only used 1/4 of the strawberry filling, but that's okay... I'm sure I'll think of a way to use it up! 

Now, to plate this... by the way, I'm one of those fanatics who pre-heats her plates! I like to serve things hot!

You could add maple syrup to this, or leave this plain.  This morning, I wanted to use the strawberry sauce, which had thickened up very nicely...

VERDICT:  I felt a sense of accomplishment that I didn't let any food go to waste. The stale bread was "custardy" and had softened just right. My family loved this brunch dish, and my son said that it tasted like my Strawberry Blintzes. I agreed, and it was a lot less work than making crepes. The next time I make this, I will use a combination of cream cheese and ricotta cheese. 

I have two pints of freshly picked strawberries in my fridge.  I think it's time to make Strawberry Ice Cream... wait, maybe strawberry sorbet.  Then again, my son keeps asking me to make Strawberry Cream Cake.  See what I mean?  I seriously doubt that my family could ever tire of strawberries.  Thank goodness they are growing just three miles down our road!

The printable recipes are at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy, from my kitchen to yours!












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28 comments:

Joanne said...

I am so jealous of your super fresh strawberries! I don't think we really get anything like that here. Well that just means I'll have to make this french toast. To mask the mediocre flavor. Not such a bad thing...

Seriously amazing! And go you for not letting anything go to waste!

Salsa Verde said...

This is a feast for the eyes and, I imagine, for the body...
Strawberry heaven!!
Love,
Lia.

bellini valli said...

Somehow this sounds so much better than what I had for breakfast this morning. It has been a cool wet Spring so I hope strawberries are on their way.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh how I wish I were having brunch at your house.

Raina said...

Sounds delicious! My family would go crazy for this! I think that is so great that you have such nice strawberries available to you.

I love who you did not let things go to waste. I know what you mean..it feels good when you use everything up like that:)

Chef E said...

We are lucky too here in NJ, to have farms just down the street, so the choices are amazing!

Did I say YUM YUM on this post, my husband will love this recipe!

Kathleen said...

Wow! I want this for breakfast everyday for the rest of my life!

tasteofbeirut said...

You are so lucky to get fresh strawberries at your doorstep! This treat is amazing, all the more so because the berries were amazing, no doubt! snif snif! I want fresh stawberries too!

Sook said...

Wow! I love french toast like this! Love the toppings and cream cheese filling! Yum!

Monica H said...

I don't think I'll ever tire of strawberries either. At least I hope I don't because they're my favorite.

No wonder you thought of me when you made these, they had my name written all over them!

BTW, your pictures in your last post were great.

Rosabela said...

This sounds amazing! Great breakfast treat for Sunday mornings. Kudoos to you for coming up with a wonderful dish.

Kim said...

You are very lucky to be surrounded by so many fresh strawberries. I have a hard time getting good ones here. Your strawberry and cream cheese stuffed french toast looks amazing! I love a slice (or two)!

Sounds like you are going to have fun trying out lots of strawberry recipes. My family loves a strawberry cheesecake ice cream that I make. I found the recipe on receipzaar. You can find the recipe here http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Strawberry-Cheesecake-Ice-Cream-For-Electric-Ice-Cream-Machine-24796. It's a fantastic and easy recipe. Hope the transition of your new job is going okay.

Cristie said...

Wow, what a breakfast! This looks wonderful. A perfect ladies brunch, thanks for posting this.

Holly said...

Looks yummy!!

Cheryl said...

That is one of my favorite breakfasts, I usually use raspberries tho. I am a strawberry snob too. Oregon has the best berries, they are soo sweet!

Ingrid said...

Can I come over? :)

Looks amazingly delish, Debby! I'll definitely be giving this a try.
~ingrid

Jenniffer said...

OMG! I would LOVE strawberry sauce with that! It looks SO delicious!!

Global Tastes & Travels Inc. said...

that looks more like a decadent dessert that an item for breakfast....but looks super delish

Silver Strands said...

oh my HECK Debby! I've just got to go get a midnight snack now. thanks a bunch!
oxoxox
Denalee

Daily Freebies said...

That looks very delicious!! Nice work..thanks for sharing this :))))

grace said...

this looks wonderful for anytime of the day! yum..

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'm with you on fresh berries, as you know! Your stuffed French Toast looks artistic and luscious! Beautiful!

Me said...

Two of my favorite things; French toast and strawberries. You're killing me this morning with your photos!!

WizzyTheStick said...

Sadly we only get imported berries here and they tend to be tart - good for jams like you said and baked goods.

bella said...

I am sure that you've been enjoying those super large California strawberries! I love strawberry stuffed French toast....yours is just beautiful; love the instructions too! Hope you are very horse-happy these days! Roz

Patti said...

Yum!Not only does it sound incredible, it looks incredible! I just brought home some fresh local strawberries so this may be on the menu for tomorrow's breakfast!

Muneeba said...

Oh man, that looks so luscious ... perfect for lazy Sunday mornings! You could lather me up with that gorgeous strawberry cream cheese!
And I completely understand your sense of accomplishment .. I feel the same way when I don't let anything go to waste.

À LA GRAHAM said...

Goodness, Debby, you are putting my french toast to shame!
I am taking the kids on a drive an hour north to pick strawberries this weekend. I am so excited; there really is no comparison in taste to store bought!