Savory French Toast with Cheese

My mother used to make this for dinner sometimes when I was growing up. It’s like French toast. But it is not sweet, like the American-style French toast which is soaked in egg and milk, pan fried, and served (like pancakes) topped with syrup with a side of “breakfast sausages.” And it’s not a grilled cheese sandwich. Perhaps it is like a strata, where bread and other ingredients are soaked overnight in an egg and milk mixture; this is simpler. I don’t think my mother knew about strata, or if she did, then stratas held no happy food memories for her. While I was growing up, I knew this simply just as cheese sandwiches.

French Cheese Toast

My daughter is coming to visit, from Madrid, for the Christmas/New Year holidays tomorrow. Perhaps her up-coming visit is making me think about my own childhood memories. I want to make a dinner that she will enjoy when she arrives! I’m thinking of a Japanese dish I’m sure she will enjoy. I’m looking forward to seeing her!!!!

But this is a meal that I enjoyed as a child. I have not had it for a long time; probably not since before my mother died last February. Probably before last Christmas. Which was sad last year.

Never mind. Even without happy childhood memories, you will enjoy this easy to make meal:

Savory French Toast with Cheese
Per person:

  • 2 slices of good bread—white bread with good texture or whole wheat that is not “heavy” (I used Zingerman’s Sesame Semolina, my mother made homemade white bread)
  • mustard to spread on each slice
  • 1/2 to 1 egg, lightly beaten, thinned with a little milk or water
  • slices of cheese to cover one slice of the sandwich (don’t use fancy cheese, but don’t use velveta: Wisconsin cheddar or muenster is good.)
  • butter to pan-fry, about 1 Tablespoon or a bit less

Spread facing slices of bread with a little of the mustard. Soak the bread slices in the beaten egg until they absorb the liquid, until they look soggy. Cover one slice of the bread with your cheese and top the sandwich with the second slice of bread. If you are making more than 1 serving or if you are not ready to eat soon, let the sandwiches soak up the egg mixture.
A few minutes before serving, melt the butter in a cast iron pan (or non-stick, or whatever skillet). Pan-fry the sandwiches on both sides until they are golden brown and the cheese melts.
Dill pickles are nice with this, unless you are eating alone and don’t have any. The sandwich is good on its own.

Happy holidays.

French Cheese Toast

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4 thoughts on “Savory French Toast with Cheese

  1. i’ve always wanted to make sandwich like this since i was a kid…i’m watching an anime show on VHS from japan when i saw an Ad teaching on how to prepare it…but i never had a chance to make this recipe…it was 20 years ago and i can’t remember anymore how to do it …now, i have already 2 sons, and i want to make some of this for them…

    your POST helps me a lot….tnx….god bless

    • I’m sure your sons will like these sandwiches.
      I wonder why a VHS from Japan would teach how to make this recipe? I’ve never been to Japan, but this seems too different from regular Japanese food.
      It’s a mystery.

  2. hi Tess,
    Mikey sent me here. HA HA. Mmm cheese sandwiches. I can make these vegan easily… I wanted to tell you that I found that Asian grocery store so now I can get the ingredients easier, but they didn’t know about daikon. I even wrote it on a piece of paper and the man there didn’t know what it was… I do have some tamarind, though, that I want to use for phad thai, but I’m guessing it’s not Japanese. I’m going to put “tamarind” in your search after this and see if anything comes up.

    I like the ice cream with the fruit idea. Yum. I never thought of that. I’m going to have to get some soy ice cream and see about that agar. It looks like jello.

    kiss kiss cutie Mikey

    • They don’t know daikon? Where do you live? It’s available in my regular grocery store here! But we were way up in the U.P. this summer, where I grew up, and they did not have it there. It’s a big white radish that tastes a lot like a turnip when you cook it.

      Agar agar is the vegetarian version of Jello (gelatin is usually made with the ligaments of animals). Agar agar is great because it stays gelled even in warm temperatures. I’ve done several posts using fruit juices with it if you want to look. I’ll be doing a post about tomato water gelleé soon—hope it turns out.

      My mom used to make these French toast cheese sammies when I was a kid. Still good…

      Is this the Mikey you are talking about?

      Mikey is sporting his very cool lion cut…

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