The FTC Romanian Style

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.

Or dill…

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 pastaΒ 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.

When the mushrooms were cooked through we added a whisked egg and mixed thoroughly. We topped the French toast slices with the mushroom mixture and baked them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F.

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! πŸ˜‰

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

47 thoughts on “The FTC Romanian Style

  1. Ashley - BakerbyNature says:

    I teared up a little reading this, such a beautiful love story, from such a beautiful person. I love reading your consistently honest, heartfelt posts, and as always, the food looked like it should be a lot closer… so I could take a bite (or 11), of course.

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  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Happy Anniversary Kristy and Mike! I had never had savory French toast and I’m all in for this! I have lots of mushrooms I have to finish and weekend is in 2 days. Perfect recipe to try it out on weekend morning! Pinterest is not working now…I am just going to print out the recipe instead…

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  3. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious) says:

    Happy A to you! you both are so amazing and so perfect together and i don’t even really know you! Lol! how crazy is that? I just know you work amazing together in the kitchen and that says enough right there! At least in my opinion and that is what counts-right! The bread is delish- love me some mushrooms

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  4. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both! Where is the pic of the stilettos Kristy?! I must see those! My husband and I adore mushrooms so I think we would both enjoy this but perhaps for lunch. Beautiful photo of the family and an even more beautiful last line of the post. Sooooo sweet.

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  5. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Happy Anniversary Kristy and Mike wishing you many many happy years to come πŸ™‚ I just love that last photo and your last line put a smile on my face
    I know this dish is not the regular french toast but being in love with mushrooms I think I may actually like it, I think I will give it a try soon.

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  6. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    I like your tradition of dinner in and out for your anniversary. We do the same, as we drink one of the bottles of wine that we bought in France/Italy on our honeymoon (eventually we will run out!) Happy Anniversary to you both. I think I could really get into a savory French toast ….and mushrooms are my husband’s favorite.

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  7. fati's recipes says:

    Aww! Congrats on the 12th anni πŸ™‚ Many more beautiful ones to come πŸ™‚ Gorgeous photos, and interesting recipe πŸ™‚ I don’t know that I’m a huge fan of mushrooms, but I do eat it if it was served to me.

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  8. Caroline says:

    Happy wedding anniversary, Kristy! Congrats to you both, that’s fantastic. πŸ™‚ That first photo is hilarious, I love Miss A just casually standing to the side. And the last photo is so sweet. Anyways, that appetizer sounds delicious (please do post it!) as does this French toast. I didn’t become a fan of mushrooms until recently but now I can’t get enough.

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  9. Courtney says:

    Aww, Happy 12th Anniversary to you two! That’s awesome – and so funny because our 12th is in August. πŸ™‚ And way to take time for yourselves and enjoy each other – so important with little kids. I’m glad you guys enjoyed the french toast… I’m thinking it’s a little much for me, but as long as you guys enjoyed it and working together to make it, I’m happy for you. πŸ™‚

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  10. Three Well Beings says:

    Happy Anniversary to you and Mike! It’s a lovely thing to hear that you are even more in love than when you began the journey together. What a precious gift to your children, too! I love the picture on your blog, and would have liked to see the stilettos! Ha! Truthfully, this recipe for Romanian French Toast is even more appealing to me than sweet! I can’t say enough about mushrooms, and with the fresh dill! Wow! And I’d want the truffle salt, too. This just looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it. Thank you!! Debra

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  11. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Whoa…. Look at those Superpeople!!

    Very Best Wishes on 12 years of Marriage to the Happy Couple – and what a fun way to celebrate, just the two of you over a delicious breakfast. I’m enjoying all of these innovative French toast recipes you’ve been introducing us to… and the truffle discussion – haha! – I gotta get me some of that stuff ;-). Looking forward to experiencing your anniversary dinner too… that date appetizer sounds too good!

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  12. Eva Taylor says:

    Happy Anniversary, Kristy and Mike. May you have many, many more (and with shoes like those, who would even doubt it!)
    Although the idea of sweet and mushrooms doesn’t immediately jump out at me, I’ve made enough of your recipes that I know I would love it! It’s officially on the lust, I mean list!
    Nice shoes, still trying to find that colour combo, perhaps I’ll find them on our trip this weekend to Illinois/Wisconsin!
    BTW, not lost on me; I’m on book three, Oh, my, my, my!
    Thanks for the shout out.

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  13. sallybr says:

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! How cool, we were married the same year, just three months apart! (We got married in March)

    pink and orange stilletos, well, that sounds like a killer pair of shoes… perfect for the occasion

    wonderful post, my favorite photo is the black and white shot at the end, it shows a happy family walking together to happy, wonderful places….

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  14. Charles says:

    Congratulations guys – what is the 12th anniversary? If the 1st is paper, I think the 2nd is rubber or something (seriously!)… I’ll have to look it up!

    Thanks so much for the mention, glad you enjoy it. By the way, which mushrooms do you typically use when making it? Could you find ceps? I love the look of this dish – absolutely incredible. I can well imagine how fantastic that bread is tasting with the mushroomy goodness draped over the top… looks beautiful!

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  15. ChgoJohn says:

    Happy anniversary and what a nice way to celebrate it. Good for you both!
    I think I’d side with Mike on this one. I like my French toast more sweet than savory but you never really know unti you try it. Funny you mention dill. My neighbors, Romanian, have dill growing all over their backyard. It’s amazing and they’re always giving me some.The thing is, no matter how many times I’ve planted dill, I cannot get it to grow on my side of the fence. She, on the other hand, has it growing in the cracks in her yard’s walkway, in her roses, even in the alley by her trash cans. Maybe they really like French toast. πŸ™‚

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  16. hotlyspiced says:

    I love mushrooms and what a great start to the day having that for breakfast with some truffle salt. How delicious! And happy 12 Wedding Anniversary. What a milestone. I’m glad you celebrated with some fabulous sounding stuffed dates with beautiful shoes and a bottle of wine! xx

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  17. A_Boleyn says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary. Sounds like you had a wonderful celebration. πŸ™‚

    I can’t recall ever hearing the term friganele used growing up so I’m happy to learn something new. πŸ™‚

    Dill is also not a herb that my mom used very often other than in pickles. In fact, the only thing that she did with dill was make a sort of roux based gravy/sauce which she served with fish. Not something that I really cared for.

    A very interesting dish.

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