Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yoo hoo! Food Network!!!!'s the story.

I auditioned for the Next Food Network Star on Tuesday. They said that they would contact people in 24-48 hours.

As it is now four days since I bared my bubbly soul to the casting chick in a banquet room at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, I am guessing that I will not be giving Guy Fieri a run for his money anytime too soon. (Although I do hold onto somewhat futile hope. When I was on Food Network Challenge, they said I'd hear by the end of the week. I actually heard from the production company more than two weeks later.)

But one of the things they wanted people to do for the show was to start creating original recipes. At least 30 original recipes, actually, to take into semifinals and callbacks and the thrilling last stage...the month of intense final competition with other contestants in January/February 2011.

Well, I might not be getting called back, but damn it, that call for original recipes has spurred some real creativity in me.

And therefore, you aren't getting any pizza today. Nope, today, the good people (okay, person) at The Pizza Principle bring you...French toast.

I start with an admission. While I adore French toast, it's something I hate to order out because it isn't my French toast. And my French toast is weird and stems from the fact that I am too impatient to fry things properly.

I soak my bread completely in the custard, so saturated with egg that it's almost impossible to take out of the batter without a spatula. And I come damn close to deep frying it. I can't just lightly grease a griddle and let it go. Why? Because I don't let it cook long enough if I do that, and then I end up with grilled bread filled with raw egg. Blech. No, I heat half an inch of oil to a blistering temperature, then ease in the bread and turn once. The result is a crispy slice with a pudding-like interior.

Now we get to the original part.

I spread it with a hearty portion of pumpkin cream cheese filling, top with another slice of crunchy custardy goodness, and then pour on my grandma's homemade brown sugar syrup, pumped up with a little toasted pecan.

Now, if NFNS calls me, I can't use this recipe. But you can. Try it. Sooooo good.

Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast


8 slices good bread (Hey, use what you've got. If that's Sunbeam, that's fine. But if you've got acces to some really yummy brioche or challah, you'll be really happy you tried it.)
4 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla


8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. pumpkin
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg


1 c. brown sugar
1 T. corn syrup
1/2 c. water
1 T. rum
1/4 c. chopped pecans, toasted

Mix all toast ingredients except bread. Soak slices thoroughly. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil (I like canola) to about 350 degrees. Gently add slices to oil, cooking until golden brown on one side and turning carefully to finish. Remove.

Mix all filling ingredients. Place one slice of toast on plate. Add a scoop of filling. Top with another slice of toast.

Mix all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour over toast.

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