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Ultimate Breakfast Casseroles – Part 3: The French Toast Casserole December 22, 2020

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Breakfasts, Classic Recipes by Type, Holidays.
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So, if you have tried the Big Breakfast Casserole or Shannon’s Quiche Cups and want a changeup, here is a good alternative – the French Toast Casserole. It is a little sweeter and less savory but has plenty of eggs for protein. Everyone has a version of this recipe, but there is a reason for that.  It is very good and very easy to make. 

Serves:  12

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 8 eggs
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • For the topping
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 4 tbsp. butter

Procedure:

  1. Grease a 10” x 14” baking dish and carefully arrange the bread slices.  You should be able to get two layers with one baguette.
  2. Mix together eggs, milk, half and half, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and pour over bread.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Let the dish warm to room temperature while the oven preheats.
  5. To prepare the topping, combine the brown sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the sugar flour mixture.   With your fingers or a fork, cream butter into the flour-sugar mixture until it resembles oatmeal.  Mix in the walnuts and raisins and spread the topping over the bread and egg mixture. 
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up like a soufflé.
  7. Serve with maple syrup, jam or marmalade.  A cold glass of Sancerre can really add a pleasant touch.

If you have any left over, simply wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. You will be surprised at how good it tastes when reheated.

During the Holidays, this dish makes a great “Breakfast Appetizer”. Cut the casserole into 1″ x 3″ strips, put on a pretty plate and walk around the room and serve.

Blini with Caviar June 29, 2019

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Appetizers, Classic Eastern European Dishes, Diary of a Wandering Foodie.
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3 comments
Blini with Caviar

We recently went to a friend’s house to have cocktails on his terrace overlooking a small lake. We were surprised to find champagne, ice cold vodka and homemade blini with caviar. Blini, which is the plural of blin, are small, rich pancakes similar to French crépes. We decided to try to repeat the experience when some special friends came over for drinks this week, and it was a real hit.

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Latvian Piragi February 8, 2019

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Appetizers, Classic Eastern European Dishes, Diary of a Wandering Foodie.
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Most cuisines have dishes which encase meat and/or vegetables in a dough made of wheat or rice.  Many Latin American countries have “empanadas” and the English-speaking Caribbean has curry spiced “roti”.  The British have their “pasties”, the French have their “crepes” and the Chinese have their “dumplings”.  I am probably missing a lot more. 

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Hangtown Fries April 28, 2017

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Breakfasts, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Fun Stuff.
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Hangtown Fries served with Homemade Corned Beef Hash


A friend of mine, who also happens to be a Federal Judge, invited me to breakfast last week and served Hangtown Fries.  This exceptional dish is basically bacon, eggs and fried oysters, and it has a very interesting history. (more…)

A Country Dinner in the UK July 6, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Green Curry, Naan, Basmati Rice and Spicy Cabbage Salad

Britain is a very livable place, especially outside the big cities. I have always loved wandering the towns and villages. The English, Welsh and Scottish countrysides are unbelievable, especially in summertime. All the rain and the very temperate climate creates a green that you see nowhere else (except maybe in Wisconsin in the Spring). (more…)

Memorial Day Super Soirée June 2, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Holidays.
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Joe ready for action

Joe ready for action

A number of family members got together in Atlanta over Memorial Day Weekend.  Joe Reid, my mother’s husband of 47 years flew in from San Diego. My mother died last year and he has been hit hard so it was good to see him out and about.

Joe is definitely a foodie and insisted on organizing a fancy dinner party. I was assigned the sous-chef role, which, needless to say, is not my usual position, but whatever. He came with the recipes in hand and did a fantastic job. This is definitely a Super Soirée that all of you should try. Here’s how it went: (more…)

The Wandering Foodie in the UK – The George Inn – A Country Pub March 16, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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The George Inn - Coleorton

The George Inn – Coleorton

We are in the UK for about 10 days helping a friend on some business issues.  We are staying in a stately country home in the East Midlands that has been converted into condominiums  – think a small Downton Abbey with a dozen condo units, all sharing the brilliant grounds.

The East Midlands is about 100 miles NE of London.  The nearest villages to us are Ashby, Swannington, and Coleorton.  This is a wonderful part of England, dotted with small villages that still have a strong rural feel.  It is also the home of many country inns and pubs.  A great one, “The George Inn”, is located 1.5 miles down the road from us.  We adapted it as “our local” upon arrival. (more…)

Marcella Hazan – Death of a Star September 30, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Fun Stuff.
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imagesWe’ve spoken about the great Marcella Hazan in the past.  She is the author  of  “The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”, one of the three best cookbooks ever written – in our humble opinion and in the opinion of many others – see our post The Three Best Cookbooks.   As you read her wonderful book, you quickly feel her passion for her native cuisine.

Marcella died last Sunday at age 89 in her later day home in Florida.  Most of her life was spent in New York City.  Below is the link to the New York Times article about this great and colorful lady.  I encourage you to read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/dining/Marcella-Hazan-dies-changed-the-way-americans-cook-italian-food.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

Tortellini al Tartufo – A Last Fling from Umbria – July 26, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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I Due Cuoci e Degustatori di Vini

Stewart and Bill: I Due Cuoci e Degustatori di Vini

This is my final post from Italy.  You can see my friend and Bravado chef, Stewart, enjoying a glass of wine with me outside the villa.  Note the beautiful hills in the background.  Rural Umbria is a real kick.

I convinced the owner of Ristorante Fontana in our village of Macerino to give me the recipe for Tortellini al Tartufo.  This was one of my favorites dishes in Italy, so I figured we better learn to make it.  It is a very easy recipe and will be a big hit. (more…)

Veal Saltimboca and More – Our Big Night in Umbria July 7, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Beef/Lamb Dishes, Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Buongiorno di Macerino

Buongiorno di Macerino

On our last night in the mountains of Umbria at the Palazzo Mazzuricci in Macerino (look it up on Google maps), we did our own version of “The Big Night” (I assume everyone has seen that movie – if not, go to Amazon NOW and stream it.)

To get you in the mood, here is a brief slideshow on our place in Umbria. (more…)

The Italians Have It So Right June 24, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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La Gelateria

La Gelateria just before the doors open for the day

 

Is it the food in Italy or the women clad in incredibly short shorts?  Between the two, I may never leave.  On the food front, which is the only thing I’m allowed to discuss by my long legged traveling companion (aka wife of 48 years), the Italians seem have it right.  You look at the stores and you want to cook.  Enjoy these shots and click on them for a close-up view: (more…)

Cooking Lessons in Umbria June 22, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
2 comments

Tossing the Pasta

Chef Jean Luca Tossing the Pasta

Well, we are still in Umbria enjoying our friends’ villa in the remote hilltop town of Macerino.  I didn’t think there was any way to top the experience we had in Ristorante Fontana here in the village or at Ristorante Pizzeria Savour in nearby Todi, but it happened.  We ran into a husband and wife team who own an organic restaurant in Spoleto in Umbria.  They agreed to come to our place in Macerino and demonstrate Umbrian cooking. (more…)

A Feast in Umbria June 16, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
3 comments

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Macerino

We are staying in a remote Medieval hilltop village in rural Umbria called Macerino.  To reach this beautiful spot, you exit the A45 expressway and then travel up winding single land roads – sometimes paved, sometimes not – for 30 minutes.  A friend rented the Palazzo Mazzurucci in the village and invited us to stay with them.  Since it has seven bedroom suites, there was plenty of room.  Our suite has four rooms and is more than 2,000 sq.ft.  It even has its own sauna. (more…)

The Wandering Foodie in Umbria – Ristorante Pizzeria Cavour -Todi June 13, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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todiMain

The beautiful hilltop town of Todi in Umbria

Umbria is a region in Italy located between Rome and Florence, just south of Tuscany.  It is filled with mountainous hills which rise up over 1,000 meters.  Many of the hilltops have towns and villages on them which date from pre-Roman times.  The hilltop towns provided very strong defense while allowing the residents to down into the valleys during the day to tend their fields.  The Romans conquered all of the area and made these towns bigger and stronger, building temples to their gods and adding many public buildings.  In the Middle Ages during the era of cathedral building, the last remnants of Roman ruins were cleared away and many beautiful churches and cathedrals were built in these towns.  The Renaissance brought even further enhancement.  There are probably over 50 of these hilltop towns dotting the Umbrian countryside and they are very cool. (more…)

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding – The Traditional British Sunday Lunch November 29, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic British Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
3 comments

Traditional British Sunday Lunch

Thousands of pubs in Great Britain, especially those outside of London, offer a “Sunday Lunch” every week.  Traditionally, the main feature is a standing rib roast, which is always accompanied by Yorkshire pudding and amazingly crunchy roast potatoes.  You always get a nice dessert (also called a “pudding”) and plenty of liquid libations.  It is truly a great winter classic meal. (more…)

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