Lunchbreak: Chef Haidar Karoum’s torrijas
4 cups milk
6 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise pieces
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
2 Tbs sweet sherry
1 2 lb. loaf country-style bread
4 Tbs butter
6 oz almond butter
12 oz Vermont maple syrup
In a medium sized saucepot, combine milk, sugar, salt, spices and citrus zest (finestly minced zest). Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and bring to room temperature. Stir in sherry. Reserve. Slice loaves into 1/2-inch slices. Immerse bread slices into cool steeped milk. In a bowl, crack eggs and whisk until combined thoroughly. Dip bread slices in eggs and sauté in butter for three minutes a side. Serve with a quenelle of almond butter and Vermont maple syrup.
4 oz Marcona almonds
10 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
2 oz brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Toast almonds in a 325 degree F oven for six minutes. Cool. Combine almonds, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and spin for 30 seconds. Reserve.
Dip bread in batter only for about 25 seconds, don’t soak it too long. Then a quick dip in the eggs.
You can use any day-old, country-style, crusty bread, challah, brioche, etc.
Depending on cooking vessel, grilling could take 3- 6 min per side, until it’s golden brown.
Feel free to add other spices, pink peppercorns, vanilla beans, anything you want to steep in the batter.