Eating Pain Perdu (lost bread) on a lazy Sunday morning in South Louisiana is as close to a religious experience as this girl can get. No need for morning Mass when you're relishing bite after exquisite bite of this breakfast favorite, what we who dwell outside the border of LA call 'French toast.'
Pain Perdu takes French toast to the next level -- and I assure you after one taste, you'll never go back to what us West Texans have known French toast to be.
You begin with dried out, day (or two) old French bread. Cut an inch or an inch 1/2 thick. I use about 12 slices and let them dry out in my oven overnight.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup FRESH SQUEEZED OJ (come on, it's worth the little effort)
2 pinches of nutmeg
2 pinches of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional -- but I use it every time)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Beat eggs and sugar well in large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for oil, and mix well.
Heat oil in large skillet over med heat. Work with 3-4 slices of bread at a time, dip bread in egg mixture and submerge for a couple of seconds. Remove and put into hot skillet. Fry, turning once, until deep golden brown on each side.
Top with powdered sugar and zest of one orange and serve with warm maple syrup. Or fresh fruit in season, or your favorite preserves.
Ohhhhhh, and prepare yourself ---- you WILL be moved to say your Hail Mary's . . .Catholic or not.
Suggested listening: 'Church' by Lyle Lovett.