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.
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
- 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.
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