Food and poetry have long been a perfect pairing. In this reblog of a section in our newsletter, we share a recipe and poem duo to feed all the senses. To submit your own pairing, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Poetry Potluck Submission” and include the recipe, poem, and a brief introduction as to why they are meaningful to you. This week’s pair is brought to you by Center for Poetry intern Kelsey Block.
I found this recipe scrolling around on the New York Times’ website a few weeks ago. My friend and I have recently started having weekend brunches, and when I saw this, I immediately knew it would be perfect for the occasion. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, so the hours we spend cooking and eating together are some of the most lighthearted moments of my week, and I really do cherish them. I think this poem does a good job of illustrating the air of companionship that often accompanies working in the kitchen.
French Toast Amandine
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk, cream or half and half
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 loaf thick-sliced brioche, challah or country bread
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, ideally clarified or high-fat.
- Preheat oven to 200. Whisk together eggs, milk (or cream or half and half), sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
- Lay bread in a baking pan, and pour egg mixture over top. Let sit 3 minutes, then turn slices over, making sure egg mixture has covered slices, with no dry spots
- Spread sliced almonds on a baking sheet, and put soaked bread slices on top. Press to adhere, then turn and repeat on other side; sprinkle with almond slices as needed. One side will be more crusted; cook that side first (and serve facing up).
- Put some of the butter into a skillet placed over medium-high heat; when it’s hot, add bread slices in batches, cooking until they’re golden brown and crisp, a few minutes per side. Transfer finished toasts to a platter, and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter and bread.
- Serve finished toasts with fruit compote, maple syrup or (and!) a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
By Mary Lamb