Freshly baked bread is amazing, but don’t think an old, stale loaf is only good for the ducks or pigeons. Stale bread is dense, dry and ready to soak up other delicious flavors you choose to serve. Stale bread can be turned into croutons, bread crumbs, capirotada, toast or torrejas, which is the Spanish version of French toast. Traditionally served during Lent, torrejas can be paired with your favorite syrups or fruit, and served whenever you need a meatless meal, or a gorgeous breakfast.
Currently, with Spring in the air, I’m ready for the luscious tropical fruit that is arriving at the produce market. Sugar sweet papayas from Mexico are a weakness of mine, and I usually have one or two on the counter, waiting until they reach their perfect moment of ripeness. They are messy to peel, seed and chop, but once that juicy, slippery task is complete, you have a bowlful of paradise.
And don’t get me started about how good the guava sour cream in this recipe is…you might be tempted to use it on your next fruit salad, pound cake, or just eat it by the gob-full right out of the bowl. (oh yess…)
Word Nerd Alert: Torrejas, also called torrijas comes from the word torrar, which means to toast. It’s the same word base for the English words torch and torrid, which for some reason English speakers always seem to use when describing a red, hot love affair.
So is the implication that torrejas are toasted, or lust worthy? In my book, same thing.
If your habit is to eat butter and syrup with your French toast, you will be pleasantly surprised with the fruit and sour cream combination in this torrejas recipe. Sweet without the blood sugar shock, light and filling.
I ended up with some left over torrejas that kept well in the fridge, which I re-heated on the griddle the next day. Unfortunately, the guava cream was nowhere to be found. Currently waiting on a confession. (Trying to concoct a clever ending quip here. Something like…”maybe it was the old loaf that I live with…” but the true confession is, I ate it. By the gob-full.)
The best torrejas are made with thickly sliced, dense artisanally made bread
1 lb dense, artisanal bread, stale (500 gr)
1/2 cup half & half (120ml)
Ground cinnamon for garnish
8oz regular sour cream (227gr)
1/4 cup guava nectar (60ml)
1/4 cup brown sugar (50gr)
1 banana, sliced
1 cup chopped papaya (140gr)
1/4 cup sweetened coconut, toasted for 2 minutes under a heated broiler (15gr)
Heat a griddle on the stove over medium flame.
Meanwhile, slice the bread into thick slices. Whip together the half & half and eggs in a shallow pie plate. Place the slices of bread in the egg mixture, and turn so that both sides are soaked. Place each slice of bread on the heated griddle, and toast until golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Dust with ground cinnamon.
Whisk together the guava nectar, brown sugar and sour cream. Spoon the flavored sour cream over each serving of the torrejas, and garnish with the sliced fruit and toasted coconut.
Substitute 1 cup chopped pineapple (225gr) instead of papaya
Grey Day at the Ranch Recently, the weather has been sloppy and cold, drizzling, freezing, and then drizzling again. I can’t recall such a miserable winter here at the ranch. But to be honest, I am never miserable, even in our worst weather. The colors around the ranch turn from iron oxide red to steely […]
Next on my list is a new diet and exercise routine. But first, we have to deal with the left overs. Turkey always seems like a great idea for the armies of people that show up for meals here at the ranch. Inexpensive and plentiful, roasting a turkey over the holidays seems like a natural […]
Roasted Potatoes for the Non-Cooks For my buddies that don’t cook all that often (and, you know who you are…) my message to you in this post is that the biggest trick to good cooking is…good shopping. And I am not talking about packaged products. When you find the right fresh produce, cooking from scratch […]