PACIFIC PALATE – Don Genova

The warm weather signals strawberry season

With warm weather finally here, expect lots of red, ripe strawberries in the fields and at your local farmers’ markets. Here’s a decadent weekend treat:

BC Strawberries and Brie French Toast  (From the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association)  www.bcstrawberries.com

Ingredients:

¾ cup (175 mL) whole milk

5 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla

¼ tsp (1mL) cinnamon

pinch of cardamom

2 tsp (10 mL) sugar

8 slices French bread, 1 ½ inches (3.5 cm) thick

300g brie cheese, sliced

3 ½ cups (875 mL) BC Strawberries, sliced

¼ cup (50 mL) butter

icing sugar

maple syrup

In large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar.

Cut slices of bread horizontally to form a pocket. Set aside 1 cup of sliced strawberries for garnish. Place slices of brie and strawberries in pocket, press down lightly. Dip bread slices in egg mixture, turn to coat each side. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet, cover and chill for 20 minutes.

In large frying pan melt butter over medium heat. Add bread slices, cook each side about 2 minutes or until golden and cheese starts to melt. Remove from pan, dust with icing sugar and garnish with strawberries. Serve immediately with maple syrup.

Makes 8 servings

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If you want someone else to do the cooking and you haven’t been to the Cowichan Valley for a while, I have two opportunities for you.

On Monday, July 8 I’m teaching a cooking class about the Umbria region of Italy at Kilrenny Farm. http://www.kilrennyfarm.com/2011/04/cooking-classes/

And on Saturday, July 13, I’m cooking up a barbecue extravaganza with Chef Bill Jones at his Deerholme Farm. If you are a fan of grilling’ and chillin’ you won’t want to miss this.  http://www.deerholme.com/farm-dinner-bbw-with-the-masters/

 

 

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