Finally, after having digested my post-Thanksgiving binge of Food Network programming, I can once again face my stack of holiday food magazines and think about planning some new meals. Having seen an overwhelming number of suggestions and preparations for holiday leftovers, the one that really stood out wasn’t the “101 ways to make last night’s mashed potatoes appetizing again.” It was, instead, a segment that appeared on Thanksgiving weekend Friday on The Today Show. Tyler Florence was demonstrating to Lester Holt how to make stuffed French Toast using challah and leftover cranberry sauce from a can.
Stuffed French Toast is one of those things that I love to get when I eat brunch out someplace, but which I’ve never gotten around to trying to make at home. “Enough with the excuses!” I thought, and decided that I would tackle this recipe. The gelled cranberry goo from a can will not enter my house, nor pass through my lips. Instead, I’m more of a cranberry relish person. That is always left over. In fact, I found a jar of it in my parents’ refrigerator just last weekend that I know was from our holiday meal. Here’s what I ended up making. In what might be termed an ironic (or just twisted) twist, I decided that serving it with turkey bacon hit just the right spot.
Cranberry-Orange Relish Stuffed Challah French Toast
Prep Time: 30 minutes Serves:(4 people/2 slices per person)
Ingredients: 1/2 recipe Cranberry-Orange Relish from bag of Ocean Spray cranberries 1-8 oz. container whipped Cream Cheese 1 loaf day-old Challah Bread Walnuts or Pecans, as preferred 2 Eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup Milk 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract Butter or Oil Maple Syrup or Confectioners’ Sugar
Assembly: Prepare relish per instructions on the back of the bag. Add chopped nuts, if desired. Mix together relish and cream cheese. The best way to do this is to start with 2 tablespoons cream cheese to every 3 tablespoons of relish, taste, and adjust consistency to your flavor preferences.
Prepping to stuff challah with cream cheese mixture
Slice challah loaf into 1-inch thick pieces. Cut a slit in the center of each slice of challah and continue to cut open, leaving the sides and bottom intact, as though opening a pita pocket. Thickly spread the relish-cream cheese mixture into the opening and press down to close.
Stuffed, un-cooked French Toast
In bowl, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla. Melt butter or heat oil (whichever is your preferred fat) in skillet or on griddle. Dip each side of the stuffed challah into the egg-milk mixture and shake off the excess liquid. Place liquid-coated challah in skillet or on griddle and cook each side until golden brown. Serve French Toast, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar or drizzled with maple syrup, according to your taste preference.
The finished product!