Food & Drink

Morning 'eye opener' orange French toast

Morning 'eye opener' orange French toast

4 eggs, lightly beaten

4 egg whites, beaten

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup 2 percent milk

Zest of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup Grand Marnier, optional

8 (1-inch-thick) slices day-old challah, French or Italian bread

Makes 4 servings.

Mix the eggs, egg whites, orange juice, milk, orange zest, cinnamon vanilla and Grand Marnier, if using, in a large mixing bowl. Place the bread slices in a single layer in a pan with sides. Add the egg batter and let soak at least 1 hour.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with no-stick cooking spray. Remove the bread from the batter; discard any that is leftover. Place the soaked bread slices in the pan and cook 5 minutes until golden brown (this may have to be done in batches). Turn and cook second side 5 minutes until browned and the bread is cooked inside.

Chef Steve's tips: If you really want this to be the best French toast ever, use 1-inch-thick slices of challah bread or leftover Italian or French bread and let it soak an hour or even overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. The inside of the cooked French toast will be like custard. This is a wonderful brunch item. It calls for Grand Marnier that you can omit but much of the alcohol cooks off leaving a very intense orange flavor to enjoy. It's best to use stale or day-old bread as it absorbs the batter better.

Nutritional information per serving: 282 calories, 21 percent calories from fat, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 188 mg cholesterol, 39 g carbohydrates, 2 g total fiber, 11 g total sugars, 37 g net carbs, 15 g protein, 561 milligrams sodium.

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