Langlois Stuffed French toast

Finished stuffed french toast
This is another recipe J and I learned to make while at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. It is perfect for a new year’s day breakfast or brunch. While it looks complicated, it’s actually pretty easy. The hardest part os stuffing the brioche!

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Langlois Stuffed French toast
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Bread and filling ingredients:
Custard ingredients:
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Bread and filling ingredients:
Custard ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Cut the Brioche into about 6 2 by 2 rectangular pieces. Using a skewer precut the hole for the filling. You will have to turn it around to make a hole larger than the skewer. This is where slightly stale bread comes in handy.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and juice together on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Put the filling into a ziptop bag. Cut off the corner. Pipe into the skewer holes.
  4. If this doesn't work, you can make a sandwich by making a pocket (think pita pocket), just make sure to only cut through one side of the bread or it will be more difficult to brown. Set this aside.
  5. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Dip each piece of stuffed bread into the custard and turn once to completely coat. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes (overnight is better!) but no longer than 24 hours.
  6. When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium to medium-high temperature.
  8. Brown each piece of stuffed bread on all sides. Do not move it around. Do not check and see if it's browning.
  9. Let it sit longer than you think it needs to. About 5 minutes per side.
  10. Place the browned pieces into a casserole dish and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Garnish as you please and serve.

My opinion:
Sometimes we cover this in powdered sugar, other times maple syrup. It’s just as good alone though. We’ve served this to friends and family and everyone has raved about it each time.

Vietnamese Bo Luc Lac


As the arrival of our daughter gets closer, J and I have started perfecting some of our favorite restaurant dishes at home. We finally got this dish perfect and couldn’t be happier. The original recipe can be found here.

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Vietnamese Bo Luc Lac
Servings
people
Ingredients
Beef Marinade Ingredients : makes the gravy
Dipping Sauce Ingredients (this is our favorite part it really brings the whole dish together!)
Non-sauce Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Beef Marinade Ingredients : makes the gravy
Dipping Sauce Ingredients (this is our favorite part it really brings the whole dish together!)
Non-sauce Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare marinade by combining garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef for at least half an hour, preferably 1-2 hours let marinate in the refrigerate. (Note: If you're thinking ahead (like we occasionally do), feel free to combine the beef and the marinade and freeze the mixture. Then you can just take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator when you leave for work.)
  2. Prepare vinaigrette by mixing rice vinegar with salt and sugar. It should be a balance of sour, salty and sweet. It should look something like this:
  3. Thinly slice the red onion and use about 3-4tablespoons tablespoons the vinaigrette to pickle and set aside covered in fridge for about 10 minutes (longer is better here too!). Prepare bed of lettuce and tomatoes in a serving platter and set aside.
  4. Heat a large wok or pan over high heat.
  5. Add about 2 tablespoons cooking oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides. Do this in batches to cook all the beef if necessary. This will sear the beef so it looks like this:
  6. Transfer beef to bed of watercress and tomatoes.
  7. Drizzle another 3-4 tablespoons of vinaigrette over the beef and greens and top with pickled red onions.
  8. Lastly, squeeze lime juice over salt and pepper in a small bowl and use for dipping the beef, or feel free to just drizzle it on.
  9. The dipping sauce should look like this:

My opinion:
This has to be in my top 10 favorite dishes of all time. I love the veggies and the balance of all five flavors. I also love that the rice isn’t even really necessary for this to be a filling meal. Plus even if you do all the prep work right before dinner, the whole start to finish time is only about 30 minutes.

Avocado Chicken Salad

There’s a dish at one of the best places to eat in town, but unfortunately it is only on the spring and summer menu, which isn’t out yet. With the extra warm weather this weekend, we decided to try our hand at making the same dish at home. We seriously lucked out. With a few modifications, this recipe is a near exact copy and was amazing.

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Avocado Chicken Salad
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Roast the chicken in the oven at 375 degrees, spiced with your favorite Mexican seasoning, we like chili lime.
  2. Cook at least 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Dice the onions and the celery in a food processor.
  4. When the chicken is cooked and slightly cooled, shred it with a fork or in the food processor. If you prefer your chicken salad a bit chunky, feel free to dice it instead.
  5. We added the shredded chicken to the food processor and then added the avocados and spices. If you prefer it a bit chunky, just mix everything together in a bowl.
  6. Taste and add lime juice and salt as needed.
  7. When ready to eat, toast the bread.
  8. We brushed both sides with olive oil and toasted each side until browned.

My opinion:
I was starving, so we didn’t wait for this to chill. In the summer, we will definitely chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Also, next time we’ll add a bit more cumin and maybe some more lime juice. This would be equally delicious with cucumber slices and bread. If you’d like it a little spicier, feel free to add a jalapeño. We will probably add some serranos from the garden this summer.

p.s. Summer 2016 update: Our toddler adores this dish. we just have to shred the chicken instead of cutting it into chunks and she gobbles it up! 

Homemade Beef Pho

Homemade Beef Pho by Dispatches from the Castle

The more J and I cook at home, the more we find amazing recipes of meals we once thought were super complicated and therefore only available in a restaurant. Pho is one of those dishes. With the complexly deep flavors and food coma-inducing warmth, we were sure we couldn’t make it in our own kitchen. We were so wrong. J found this recipe from Sarcastic Cooking (love!) and it was dead on. We adjusted a few things to our taste and suggest you do too.

East at Home Beef Pho Ingrdients

My opinion:
This makes a lot. Enough for three of us to have two large bowls each and quite a bit leftover. It’s in the freezer waiting for one of those cold, rainy late fall days when soup sounds best. I love this dish. I couldn’t eat it fast enough.

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Homemade Beef Pho
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients