In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share one of my most beloved recipes from my late grandmother. She used to make this french toast for myself and my sister as an after school treat. One of the fondest memories from my childhood was getting off the bus, running up the hill and through the alley to her house, and walking in to find the aroma of my grandmother’s french toast filling her house. I can still envision her standing over the stove, turning the pieces of Italian bread and salting them as they came out of the frying pan. My grandmother came straight from Sicily so she really knew what she was doing in the kitchen. Plus, along with my grandfather, she was a chef at the Gramercy for over 50 years. (At 91 years young, my grandfather is still cooking the best fairytale feasts there!) There was nothing better than an afternoon with my grandmother, watching the Guiding Light and enjoying this mint french toast. She made it for my mother, my mother made it for me and hopefully one day I will be able to make it for my kids.
Over the years, I have seen french toast evolve into sandwich-like concoctions stuffed with peanut butter, jelly, fruit, cream cheese, etc. While I applaud this creativity, my palate never really caught onto this trend. My grandmother’s french toast isn’t your ordinary french toast either, but it’s a no-fuss recipe that produces a flavorful result. She took one simple ingredient, mint, and changed the entire flavor of the dish for the better. My family uses their own dried mint because it is actually more flavorful than fresh mint. I honestly never realized other people didn’t put mint in their french toast until I was in my 20s and now feel it is my duty to proclaim this message to other breakfast lovers. I strongly encourage you to try this - I’ll never have my french toast any other way. Thanks grandma! :-)
My Grandmother's Fairytale Mint French Toast
6 slices of Italian bread (day old bread works well)
2 eggs (It’s 1 egg per 3 slices of bread)
1/4 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of dried mint
1/4 olive oil
Salt + pepper
Optional: maple syrup.
Crack the eggs in a shallow dish. Whisk in the milk with a fork. Add the dried mint , salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet then turn the heat down to medium high. Dip the bread in the egg mixture to evenly coat each side. Fry in the skillet until each side is golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper-towel lined dish to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle salt on it immediately. Garnish with some fresh mint and serve with a side of maple syrup.
Wishing all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and all caretakers of this world a very Happy Mother's Day!