Arme Ritter

Poor Knights Had It Pretty Good!


This recipe has a Hollywood concept pitch: French toast meets jam sandwiches.

Startlingly obvious, right? I got the idea from an old rec.food.cooking thread, but I just do it out of my head now. There was a sort of fussy French toast batter recipe in rec.food.cooking, and by all means use your favorite French toast batter recipe if you've got one, but really, the only crucial ingredient is thinned egg, as near as I can tell.

I believe that the name comes from the Crusades, when knights too poor for meat made do with jam sandwiches fried in eggs, though I suspect that the original recipe was really more like French toast with applesauce. This is my absolute favorite "special breakfast" recipe, since it's just fun to make.

This is NOT a low-fat recipe. Don't even try!

Batter

Whip up the batter. Thin it down until it's somewhere between runny and goopy. My uncle makes Belgian waffles with cinnamon in them, and they are amazingly heavenly, and so I am of the firm belief that all of the best breakfast foods require cinnamon.

Sandwiches

Make several different kinds of sandwiches, assuming that you have lots of different kinds of jam or fruit. Any good conserve, preserve, or jelly will do here, and sliced strawberries, or fresh or frozen blueberries, are also fantastic. Bananas would also be good, maybe with some honey. I find that this is too sweet with just the filling, so I put on a layer of ricotta cheese, usually low-fat because that holds up fine to the amount of heat it gets.

If you have four people, make four sandwiches and cut them into quarters, then mix and match so that they get a slice of each kind of filling.

Heat up a pan, and then heat butter into it until it starts to get golden brown. Whip up the egg batter again, then dip both sides of your sandwich wedges and fry up as many as you can fit into the pan. Add butter if they begin to stick at all, and fry both sides on low heat until they're golden brown and smell delicious.

Serve topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, and offer warm maple syrup to anyone who wants some.

The major problem with this dish is timing: unless you have a really generous pan, you aren't going to get more than two done at a time, and often only one. This is fine for an informal breakfast, otherwise, distract with something else! This is best eaten hot, so maybe just save it for informal breakfast or breakfast in bed.

If you want to be really evil, put bacon or sausages on the side.

My favorite topping to date is fresh sliced strawberries, though I haven't yet tried fresh blueberries. Tart jams like cherry or lingonberry also are the bees knees when contrasted with ricotta. I don't do without the ricotta, in fact. I've tried this with cream cheese, but I prefer the milder one... marscapone would probably be okay. Clotted cream would probably be too runny.

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