It had been a while since I had made one of my favorite breakfast dishes, glorious french toast. The thing is I usually don’t make it for breakfast though, it’s usually relegated to one of my breakfast for dinner dishes.
On this most recent occasion I decided I needed to ramp things up a couple notches. As I perused the pantry, I came across some unsweetened dried coconut flakes that I had used for a crisp tempura batter (the flakes add some great extra crunch and nooks and crannies to fry up). I also remembered that I had a couple of gallon bags of blueberries still frozen and left over from last year’s blueberry crop.
I thought to myself, the coconut would add another layer of flavor and the blueberries would make a great base for a nice rustic sauce. I had some red wine left over from one of my Bob’s Kitchen Dinner Events and I knew that would be a great tool to give my blueberry sauce some legs. I served it with some Sriracha glazed bacon. So without further ado, I bestow upon you my Coconut French Toast with Red Wine Blueberry Compote.
♥For Coconut French Toast:
- 1 loaf day old challah or bread of your choosing, sliced about 3/4 in. thick
- 6 eggs
- 2-3 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cups brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup Unsweetened dried coconut flakes, plus more if needed
♥For Red Wine Blueberry Compote:
- 18 oz. blueberries, fresh or frozen
- a few good glugs of red wine, or about 8 oz., plus 3 Tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used left over pods that I had stored in my sugar jar)
- zest and juice from one orange
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
To Make The Coconut French Toast:
Preheat oven to 250°F
In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the french toast except for the bread. This will create a nice custard-like mixture to soak you bread.
Lay out a couple wire cooling racks and place some aluminum foil underneath. This will catch any custard that drips from your bread. Soak each bread slice in the custard for a minute, the more stale the bread the better it will soak up the custard and it will hold together better as well. Place each custard-soaked slice of bread on the wire racks this will give the custard enough time to really soak into the center of the bread so it is fully saturated with custard. Sprinkle dried coconut flakes on both sides of the bread slices and push down gentle with the back of a spoon just to make sure the coconut adheres.
Heat a large skillet (I use cast iron) over medium to medium-low heat. Use enough butter to fully coat the skillet. Places soaked bread in skillet, two slices at a time if you can fit them. An alternative would be to use an electric skillet also. Let each piece brown up as much as you like on one side, then flip bread over to brown up the other side. Place finished slices on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven while finishing the remaining slices of bread.
In the meantime, toast up some extra coconut flakes in a dry skillet over medium heat until the flakes are lightly browned. This will serve as garnish for the finished plate.
To Make The Red Wine Blueberry Compote:
Put all ingredients, except the cornstarch and the extra 3 Tablespoons of red wine, in a medium sized sauce pan, set over medium heat. Reduce contents down until the blueberries have given up some of its liquid and has thickened slightly. After this has happened mix 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons of red wine and dump this into the blueberry mixture. Raise heat to medium-high, wait for some bubbling action to let the cornstarch do its thing and thicken the compote.
To Assemble Coconut French Toast:
Place french toast on a plate. Top with blueberry compote. Liberally sprinkle toasted coconut over the whole thing. Serve with some Sriracha glazed bacon.