Cooking Light magazine this month has a column focused on the many uses of apricot preserves in cooking. This inspired me. Instead of apricot preserves, what about one of my favorites, my step-mother’s homemade grape jelly? This is truly as homemade and organic as you can get since my father grows and tends to the grapes, as well as harvests them and my step mother takes it from there in the kitchen adding sugar and pectin and whatever else to can some delicious jelly. It is fabulous and I look forward to getting my yearly batch.
I love cooking with jelly and jams, but this one is a favorite since the flavor is subtle unlike commercial brands and it just adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of grapeyness to anything you pair it with, even peanut butter.
This morning the inspiration led me to do have breakfast for dinner. I haven’t been to the store yet and watching the budget has let my creative juices really flow, so I went through the fridge. What did I find? Said grape jelly, leftover Challah bread I made a week ago, eggs, butter and milk. Translated, French Toast. Really I spied all the ingredients, except the jelly at first and then noticed I was out of syrup. What’s melted jelly? Syrup. Let’s dress it up a touch and add some grapes that over have a few more days until they become moldy pre-raisins.
My Toast to Toast
2 thick slices of leftover Challah bread (or any you have handy – it can be a little hard since you will be soaking it in the egg mixture)
¼ cup milk
½ tsp cinnamon
About ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Dash of vanilla extract
Butter for the pan and for the toast on the plate
A large handful of seedless grapes cut in half
2 or 3 TBSP of jelly
Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a bowl. If the bread is large or pretty thick, cut the slices in half since it will be easier to work with in the pan. Heat a pat of butter in the pan and when melted and hot add the dipped slices of toast. (make sure to really coat the toast with egg). Cook for as long as you see fit and turn to cook the other side to your liking ( I don’t have times since the doneness of French Toast is a personal preference.)
When satisfied move the toast to a plate and add another pat of butter to the pan. Add in the grapes and let them sauté in the butter for a couple minutes, stirring so they don’t stick or burn. Add the jam and turn off the heat. The residual heat in the pan will melt the jelly. Pour this over your toast and you have a fancy, just oh so easy dish.
To emphasize how special I thought this dish was, I lit a candle and ate by candlelight with the puppies and kitties at my feet. A warm cup of tea was the perfect accompaniment.
What inspired you this week?