Savory French Toast with Mushrooms

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:08am

Savory French Toast with Mushrooms

I couldn’t eat much of anything this terrible, sad weekend, but as my desire to cook has slowly returned, I’m turning to comfort foods. I made pan-seared steaks with a dried-and-fresh-mushroom pan sauce and it was just really nice to serve John and Nathan one of their favorite meals.

I made a good amount of the mushroom sauce with savory French toast in the back of my mind. If you only enjoy French toast for breakfast, you’re missing out on a terrific and fast lunch or dinner. I used gluten-free bread for the pic (and my stomach), but if I could eat gluten I’d use challah. Any type of bread works nicely, though, really what you have on hand. Because that’s the point – savory French toast is a filling, comforting base for leftovers of almost any type, on the table quickly.

If you’re not a mushroom fan, try spinach sautéed with garlic, perhaps with a spot of sausage in the mix as well, perhaps with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Or thin slices of ham and a spoonful of braised beans. Or roasted squash and fried sage leaves. Or in the summer, slices of ripe tomato and crispy bacon. (Best. Thing. Ever.) French toast is rich, so a touch of acid and a shower of black pepper strike a delicious balance.

In case you ARE a mushroom fan, the sauce below is a terrific finish for any pan-seared meat that leaves lovely, crusty drippings behind: chicken, steaks, lamb, venison, veal, pork. Just stir the completed sauce into the hot pan juices, scraping the pan while simmering for a couple of minutes. That’s it. However, the sauce is also rich and flavorful on its own, thanks to the beauty of dried wild mushrooms. And sherry. And butter.


Savory French Toast with Mushrooms

Serves 2

1/3 c. dry sherry
2/3 c. water
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
6 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered
4 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
few gratings of fresh nutmeg (optional)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (thyme or tarragon or whichever you like best; optional)
1 Tbsp. heavy cream or sour cream (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

French toast
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk or half-and-half
pinch of salt
4 slices bread (challah, country bread, sandwich bread, gluten-free, any type works)
2 Tbsp. high heat oil (sunflower or safflower)
2 Tbsp. butter

For the mushrooms:
Combine sherry and water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot (steaming). Add dried porcini mushrooms to the pan and remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring the mushrooms a couple of times, until mushrooms are soft. Using your hands, scoop mushrooms from the liquid and squeeze excess liquid back into the pan, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add fresh mushrooms to the pan, along with a generous pinch of salt. Stir around so the mushrooms are coated with butter, then let them be for a few minutes until they start to brown. Give them another stir, add the porcini mushrooms and garlic, and sauté for another 5-7 minutes until the whole pan is browned and glaze-y.

Pour the porcini soaking liquid into the skillet of mushrooms, leaving the sediment that will have settled to the bottom of the saucepan behind. Simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken the sauce a bit. Stir in the squeeze of fresh lemon juice (to taste). Stir in optional nutmeg and/or fresh herbs and/or cream or sour cream and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

For the French toast:
In a pie plate, beat together the eggs, milk, and pinch of salt. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, dip both sides of the bread in the egg/milk mixture and add to the hot pan. Fry bread until golden brown, then flip and brown the second side. Transfer French toast to plates and serve immediately with warm mushrooms.

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Older Comments

  1. By ChelleeSiegel on December 22, 2012 at 11:26AM


  2. By FreshTartSteph on December 18, 2012 at 5:43AM

    Kim, YES! I've even done bite-size little pieces, in morel season, as an appetizer. Thanks!

  3. By KKalina on December 18, 2012 at 1:07AM

    Woah, my friend, this looks FABULOUS! This and some bubbles will do it for me.

  4. By FreshTartSteph on December 17, 2012 at 11:29AM

    Ah ha! I haven't tried the Costco Brand, but I know Udi's is widely available. For the most part, I sort of avoid it, but once in while, for things like this, it's nice to have access to. Wheatless in Seattle, love that name, awesome :)

  5. By Nikki3593060 on December 17, 2012 at 11:22AM

    Thank you! I live in Seattle and there is a place called "Wheatless in Seattle" that does a pretty good bread, it's just pricey. The GF from Costco, I think Silver Hills brand, was the one that is terrible. This recipe looks yummy!

  6. By FreshTartSteph on December 17, 2012 at 10:47AM

    Ah yes. I find it pretty terrible too, although toasting/frying improves it greatly. That's Udi's in the photo and it makes perfectly nice French toast or croutons (especially fried in olive or butter). Do you live in Minneapolis? The Wedge Co-op makes an in-house gluten-free bread that is truly delicious, even fresh. It's very challah/brioche like, made with eggs and whole milk. It too makes fantastic French toast. Good luck!

  7. By Nikki3593060 on December 17, 2012 at 10:43AM

    What type of gluten-free bread do you use/eat? I bought a loaf of GF bread recently and it was terrible. The bread in your photos looks tasty! Thanks!