As I type this, thunder is roaring outside my office window and ominous clouds are dumping rain everywhere. It sounds vicious outside, the kind of rolling booms that make you want to curl up under a favorite quilt and huddle until it passes. Meanwhile, less than 20 minutes ago, I was outside planting and watching these clouds roll in. Welcome to a true New England day … don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes.
But I am not complaining, it has been a good Sunday here. Sunny and productive, with lots of errands and yard work accomplished.
Today was a rare morning where everyone slept a little later than normal. For the first time in literally years, I got to sleep past 8 a.m. — and well past 8 a.m., at that. It was a rare treat.
When we all finally did rise, I whipped up a delicious batch of Banana-Stuffed French Toast. This is a recipe that I actually first posted back on June 22, 2006. I made it for Father’s Day that year, and it was a huge hit. So when Shawn came home last night with a big, soft, beautiful loaf of challah bread, I immediately thought of this recipe. The ingredients are primarily pantry items, which means that you can make it almost anytime. And it comes together – start to finish – in 45 minutes max (and that’s if you do several batches in the frying pan like I did … if you use a bigger pan, it will take less time).
In any case, this is great for a laid-back Sunday morning.
Banana-Stuffed French Toast
Adapted from Weekend Magazine, July/August 2006
Although this recipe calls for just four large (the loaf I used this time was about six inches wide) slices of challah, this can work with up to six slices. Be sure to give yourself about 45 minutes total for prep and cooking.
1 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
4 slices large (cut 1 inch deep) challah bread (or 8 smaller pieces, also 1 inch deep)
1 medium banana, sliced thin
4 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat for five minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice a pocket in the challah bread and slide 4-6 banana slices in each piece.
Using a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg and vanilla extract, whisking until well combined.
Place each slice of banana-stuffed challah in the batter, turning over to fully coat.
In a preheated and greased large skillet (I used butter), cook each slice of bread until golden on both sides (about 2 minutes per side).
Place browned slices on a baking sheet that’s been lined with nonstick foil and cook in the oven for about 8 minutes, until cooked throughout.
Drizzle with syrup and serve immediately.