Thursday, December 13, 2012

Savory Christmas brunch

After all the candies, cookies, chocolates and desserts, who really wants more sweets for breakfast on Christmas Day? (Unless of course, you're under 10 years old.)

But many Christmas morning treats just add to the sugar blitz. And that's fine, but sometime's you need a reprieve from the sweets!

Instead, you might consider something simpler for the morning rush. In our home, we've enjoyed baked French toast for years on Christmas morning. It's easy to prepare once the children have gone to bed, and you can pop it into the oven in the morning.

Last year, we deviated from the sweeter French toast recipes that abound and tried this savory recipe. While mustard, chives and gruyere cheese don't sound like the typical makings of a French toast, this recipe is well worth it. We paired it with bacon, yogurt, fresh fruit and leftover apple streudel and povotica for those who couldn't bear not to have something sweet on the table.

Savory Baked French Toast

8 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup snipped chives (fresh is best)
16-oz. loaf day-old French bread, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 ounce Gruyère, shredded (original recipe also suggested Swiss as an alternate)

Grease 9x12 baking dish. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk , mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper until well blended. Stir in chives.

Arrange half of bread in bottom of prepared baking dish, overlapping slices to fit. Pour half of egg mixture over bread and sprinkle with two-thirds of Gruyère. Cover with remaining bread, overlapping slices. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread; gently press down to help bread absorb egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining one-third of Gruyère. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the French toast dish from the refrigerator 20 minutes before baking.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and golden and tip of knife inserted in center comes out clean, covering top during last 15 minutes if browning too quickly.

Let stand 10 minutes to set custard before serving. Sprinkle with snipped chives.

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