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HEALTHY VS. HEARTY BREAKFAST EATS
By Rachel Werner

 

THE PHRASE “EAT WELL AND LIVE WELL” can have many connotations. Whereas taste is paramount, the number of calories and grams of fat one consumes doesn’t have to be. Read on for a scrumptious version of French toast from Short Stack Eatery, a decadent creation that’s pure indulgence from first bite. Find the heart-healthy option provided by UW dietician and chef Julie Andrews—a delicious modern twist on this classic dish—at BRAVAmagazine.com. Hello, it’s a good morning!

DECADENTLY DELICIOUS RECIPE
TWICE-BAKED BOURBON MAPLE FRENCH TOAST FOR THE HOME COOK

Start with one crusty baguette (Short Stack recommends using Madison Sourdough Company’s Sourdough or Rustic baguette). Slice into eight or nine long slices, discarding the ends.

Batter:
Whisk or blend together the following:
2 eggs
1 yolk
1 c. half-and-half
1 ½ oz. brown sugar
1 ¼ oz. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract Pinch of salt
1 ½ Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. bourbon
½ tsp. cinnamon-spice mixture (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice in whatever proportions appeal)

Streusel topping:
Use whatever crumb topping you use for your favorite coffeecake, or prepare this streusel.
Measure the following into a tabletop mixer bowl:
2 ½ oz. cake flour
1 ¾ oz. brown sugar
1 ½ oz. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon-spice mixture

Mix with a paddle attachment on low until combined well, then add:
2 ½ Tbsp. cold butter

Continue mixing on low until mixture gains a crumbly texture. Set aside. Pour batter into a 9×9 pan, place the bread slices in the batter, then use a second pan that “nests” into the first to place over the bread slices, weighting it if necessary to submerge the bread. Let the bread soak in the refrigerator one to four hours, depending on how dry the bread is. Chef’s tip: French Toast is better when made with bread a couple of days old because it soaks up more batter.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line bottom and sides of a clean 9×9 pan with parchment paper. Gently press excess batter from bread slices and then line them bottoms up in the pan. Drizzle with more maple syrup and more bourbon. Sprinkle streusel over top crust of slices. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional five minutes.

Allow French toast to cool a bit. Remove all slices together by lifting the parchment out of the pan; using your hands, gently part the slices from each other, disturbing the streusel topping as little as possible. Finish cooking the slices by frying them on each side in a hot griddle with plenty of butter until nicely browned. To garnish, top with Al’s Maple Syrup, your preferred caramel sauce, fresh berries and/or whipped cream. Enjoy!

It’s Heart Month! Find the  heart-healthy recipe version from UW dietician and chef Julie Andrews right below the decadent version.,  To find more heart-healthy recipe inspirations, visit heart.org.

POLENTA “FRENCH TOAST” STICKS
By Julie Andrews, UW Health dietician and chef

Ingredients:
5 ½ c. milk, divided
1 ½ c. coarse ground yellow cornmeal
¼ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. + ½ Tbsp. cinnamon, divided
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
5 eggs
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
½ c. maple syrup

Set oven to 375°F. Simmer 4 cups of milk in a large saucepan. Add cornmeal and whisk at a lower heat until cooked. Whisk in the brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, baking powder, vanilla extract, 2 tsp. cinnamon and half the melted butter. Add in two eggs and the egg white and continue to whisk until the batter is thick. Add in milk until mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.

Bake the mixture in a 9×13 edged baking sheet or dish (precoated with cooking spray) for 22-27 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate 1 hour (or freeze 30 minutes). Cut into French toast sticks before dipping in a mixture of the remaining eggs, milk and cinnamon. Brown in a skillet until crispy and serve with the syrup.

For more heart-healthy recipe ideas, visit heart.org.

BRAGGING RIGHTS

Come hungry to the next Badger event you attend at the Kohl Center. The stadium’s concessions just got a major upgrade with the opening of Travel Wisconsin’s Supper Club stand and its robust ‘grab ‘n go’ dishes. The spaghetti and meatballs, cheese curds and Friday fish fry are runaway hits, and with daily specials such as stuffed shrimp, prime rib and smoked salmon, the menu offers a fuller—and more delicious— dining experience than the typical concession stand.

Special dietary needs? No problem. Nosh on the vegetarian and gluten-free salads or the soup du jour. “We’re hoping to provide food options beyond typical stadium fare for those event attendees who want something besides a brat or a burger,” says director of operations Joe Carney. Spending a day courtside never tasted so good. On Wisconsin! Madison. travelwisconsin.com/blog. —RW

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