By the “FTC,” I’m of course referring to the French Toast Challenge and would you believe when I was searching for Romanian recipes I came across a Romanian French toast? It was meant to be and so it was…our anniversary breakfast.
Mike and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s already been 12 years. We’ve had our ups, we’ve had our downs, and I can honestly say, I love this man more today than ever. We celebrated our anniversary in style (Eva – I wore my pink and orange stilettos!) with a delicious dinner, a great bottle of wine and a lovely late night walk (not in the stilettos). I may try to recreate one of the appetizers from our dinner soon. It was too delicious not to – bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with blue cheese and topped with a balsamic reduction. Oh, my, my, my.
But I digress. Back to the Romanian feast of the day. While the Ciuperci pe Friganele doesn’t exactly scream romantic breakfast, we figured it was best to whip up the mushroom laden French toast while the kids were at Nana and Papa’s. We are slowly converting them, but mushrooms would not have screamed breakfast of the year to the kids; plus Mike and I like making breakfast together while the kids are out. It’s a little something reminiscent of days gone by. I still remember the first time Mike made me breakfast. It was of course French toast; however, it didn’t start with chopped mushrooms.
If you haven’t guessed by now, this is not what one typically thinks of when it comes to French toast. But since we’re generally big fans of mushrooms (I seriously have regular cravings for Charles mushroom laden pasta on a weekly basis.), we were game. We melted some butter over medium-high heat and tossed in the shrooms, dill and salt to taste. As that was frying up, we prepared the French toast.
Nothing too out of the ordinary here – just a pinch of sugar to the batter. We whisked together the milk, egg and sugar and coated several slices of French bread. We placed them in a pan (which should have been greased – please grease your pan) and set them aside until the mushrooms were ready.
The kitchen smelled phenomenal. I’ve never been a big fan of dill, but something about the combination of dill and mushrooms was really getting to me. Perhaps it was that mysterious fifth sense, Umami. Whatever it was, it inspired me to add a pinch of black truffle salt to the finished dish. For me, truffle salt is pure umami.
I can’t put my finger on what it is about truffles – truffle oil, truffle salt and straight up truffles. It’s not a flavor that I would say that I love, but it does give me this animalistic desire to devour my meal. See, who needs oysters! 😉
Now this isn’t a traditional American breakfast-style French toast (which according to Wikipedia first appears in a fourth century Roman cookbook making it neither French or American in origin) that you’d top with powdered sugar or syrup. It’s definitely more towards savory than is typical, but still maintains a hint of sweetness. We served ours without any additional toppings as it was flavorful enough on its own. Although a smoked salmon mixed in or on the side might just be the end of me with this dish.
Mike enjoyed the Romanian ciuperci pe friganele and gave it 3 spoons. As many of you know, Mike is a harsh critic when it comes to French toast. While he enjoyed this one, I don’t think it will become a contender in his book. It’s not traditional enough to make the tourney. Plus there’s no way the kids would eat it.
As for me, it was a toss-up between a 3 and 4 spoon dish and ultimately wound up at 4 spoons. I love mushrooms and the truffle salt put me over the edge. I found myself craving the French toast a few days later. Fortunately we had leftovers and I ate them. Yep…still good.
I realize this dish may not be for everyone, but if you like mushrooms I’d certainly give it a shot. The combination of dill, mushrooms and sweet French toast batter is delightful (with or without the truffle salt). It certainly worked for me both as a breakfast and late night snack. Who would have guessed – Romanian French toast!
We still have a few more Romanian dishes left to go and they’ll be coming soon. And of course we’ll have our homemade anniversary dinner to share. Like birthdays, it’s always a dual celebration – dinner out and dinner in. After all, this particular occasion is what started it all and gave me the world.
Print this recipe: Ciuperci pe Friganele