19 May 2007

Let's Hear It For Down Home Cookin'

On a recent trip to Dallas, I had the best oyster po'boy of my life. And considering that we spend time every year on the Outer Banks of NC, that's really saying something. It was just the right amount of oysters, the breading was tasty but didn't try too hard, and they had a sort of spicy French dressing on it. Yum. Dallas has some great restaurants, to be sure. My foodie friend Pam asked me how my trip was (I was at a conference) and I ecstatically described every meal.

There's still plenty of down home cooking available to vegetarians, especially those of us steeped in North Carolina tradition. Breakfast, of course, is an all-essential meal when you're talking good home cookin'. I'm still trying to perfect my recipe for pancakes, but will definitely post my recipe for angel biscuits soon. They're fluffy and buttery, just like a good biscuit should be. (Actually, our hotel in Dallas had great biscuits on the continental breakfast buffet.) In the meantime, since I have to look up those recipes and I remember the following one, here's a never-fail, super-easy recipe for French toast.

French toast was actually the first thing I ever learned how to cook, with my mom on weekend mornings. This recipe is adapted from the one she taught me, to include less lactose - and more powdered sugar!

Ann's Favorite French Toast
serves 2

2-4 slices bread per person
1 egg (buy free-range and organic!)
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
powdered sugar (~1/3 cup)
2 T butter

Start 1 T butter in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Stir the egg with a fork, in a bowl wide enough to hold the bread (flattish works best). Add the cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla and stir until thoroughly mixed. Soak both sides of the bread in the mixture for several seconds, then place on the skillet. Cook until golden brown and smelling delicious. Repeat with each slice of bread; cut toast in half, arrange on the plates and sift powdered sugar to your preference over the slices. Fresh strawberries are great on the side; and of course butter and maple syrup as desired.

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