Do you ever feel compelled to ask someone to join you at dinner if you see them sitting at a restaurant eating by themselves? Do they look sad, or is that your guilt talking? I’m just curious, because I think I’m one of the only weirdos that actually enjoys eating alone at restaurants. Seriously. I actually throughly enjoy it. The first time I ate alone in a restaurant was in Georgetown at Pizza Paradiso after hours of meandering through all of the best tourist spots in DC, and devouring at Georgetown cupcake right at the counter much to the surprise of the poor kid behind the register. A box? Please kid, give it to me straight. Who do you think you’re talking to? But I needed more. And then I needed pizza. So for two hours I sat right at the open window with the whole restaurant to myself, with a pizza, a beer, a book and Georgetown walking by. Bliss! Ben says “Wow, that’s awkward”. Not at all! And I did it again after I came home from my latest trip to Portland on Mother’s Day weekend. The rest of the troupe was having an obligatory Mother’s Day breakfast and I was released from my duties of Celebrate The Mom’s to explore Portland on my own and did I ever! Stumbling into a new restaurant, Irving St. Kitchen, I grabbed a paper, ordered a mimosa and read away the morning learning far too much about Liberace and Sandra Lee’s waredrobe from the NYT Style section and ravenously devoured the most divinely caramelized french toast with cherry compote on top. And tasso bacon on the side. Who do you think I am? And I think that this absolutely needs to happen in your life too, because well, look at it it’s cashews crusted french toast with cherry compote. Duh. Right?
No joke, this was last night’s dinner. It has been on my mind for all these weeks, so I got home from work, threw down everything, didn’t unpack my gym bag, barely kissed the dog and petted the husband and then threw this together – with bacon, natch – for a super early still-able-to-photograph dinner. Then we became lions over a dead carb zebra to devour this in three minutes. No foolin’. It was sick, in the most ridiculously sinful of ways.
You will adore the crushed cashews that are sprinkled on top of this and toasted to a golden brown. The cherries are sweet and a bit tart, with just a little gleek factor. Don’t even get me started on the challah. Can we start a dance? Call it the Challah Hollah? No? Dang, I thought I was onto something.
Well, the Challah Hollah might not be the next big thing, but at least I know this french toast like, totally is.
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Make sure you get your breakfast on with these other favorites listed below, too!
Breakfast Reuben Sandwich
Cashew Crusted French Toast with Cherry Compote
1 loaf Challah, sliced into 1 ½" slices
5-6 Eggs, whisked
⅓ cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon, divided
⅛ tsp Nutmeg
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 cups Cherries, pitted
3 Tbsp Agave Syrup or Sugar
⅓ cup Crushed Cashews
In a food processor, add cherries, agave or sugar and ½ of the cinnamon. Pulse to combine, until cherries have become small pieces. Set aside for topping.
Heat skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. Spray with non stick cooking spray.
In a shallow baking dish or pie pan, whisk together eggs, milk vanilla, ½ of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Whisk together until sugar dissolves.
Dredge sliced challah bread, completely coating in the egg wash. Lay onto griddle and fry until dark golden brown. Just before flipping, sprinkle and lightly press crushed cashews into the top of the uncooked french toast. Gently flip the french toast and continue to cook until the toast cooks through and turns golden brown. Remove from griddle and plate. Top with cherry compote and serve immediately.
Inspired by Irving Street Kitchen French Toast