Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garlicky Three Cheese and Bail Mint Savory French Toast Bites with Candied Walnut Crust Lavendar scented Hot Beet Syrup and Crispy Bacon by Erin Evens

Garlicky Three Cheese and Bail Mint Savory French Toast Bites with Candied Walnut Crust Lavendar scented Hot Beet Syrup and Crispy Bacon by Erin Evens, Brooklyn NY
2009 Gilroy Garlic Festival Finalist
Serves 6 as a cocktail snack
2 1/2 cups good quality borscht
3 red chiles stemmed and chopped
1 small orange zested and juiced
3 tablespoons lavendar honey
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup Taleggio cheese cubed
1/2 cup Swiss cheese shredded
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil washed and dried
1/4 cup fresh mint washed and dried
10 cloves garlic peeled HINT The Garlic Shoppe sell the Amazing EZ Roll garlic Peeler that can do this in 3 seconds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 laof brioche bread crust trimmed
6 large eggs beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 cups ground walnuts
2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 slices thick cut pepper bacon, crisped and each slice cut into 3 pieces for a total of 12 pieces
12 garlic chive blossoms or edible lavendar blossoms
12 large Chinese Soup spoons to serve
Method of Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the borscht, chiles, orange zest and juice, and honey . Place in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. reduce heat to medium low and let the syrup simmer stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced by half about 20 minutes.
While the syrup is reducing, prepare the cheese filling. To a bowl of a food processor fitted with a standard processing blade, add the goat cheese, Taleggio cheese, Swiss cheese, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil( reserving the remainder for later use) basil, mint and 8 cloves of garlic and process until smooth about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed . Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste transfer the cheese filling to a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the brioche into 3 (21/4 to 21/2 in slices) and then cut each slice into four squares. Using a sharp paring knife cut a pocket into the side of each square being careful not to cut through the whole square. Set the brioche squares onto a large baking sheet and set aside.
In a large deep dish pie plate, beat together the eggs and milk and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Press the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and whisk the pressed garlic into the egg milk wash. Set the mixture aside. In a separate deep dish pie plate, stir together the walnuts flour and granulated sugar. Set the mixture aside.
By now, the syrup shuld be reduced by half. Remove the sauce pan from the heat, strain the syrup into a small heat proof pitcher and set the syrup aside at room temperature.
Using spoon and thumg, stuff one brioche pocket with the cheese filling pressing the stuffed brioche between your hands and pinching the open side of the pocket to seal. Repeat with the remaining brioche squares.
Preheat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and add about 1/3 of the remaining olive oil to the pan. While the olive oil is heating to a shimmer, submerge each stuffed brioche into the egg wash, let any excess egg wash drip off, transfer each square to the walnut mixture and then dust each square with the walnut mixture. Working in bathches of 4, carefully place the stuffed brioche into the skillet and fry for about 3 minutes on the first side carefully flip and then fry for another 2 minutes on the other side. Transfer the fried stuffed brioche to your large baking sheet add 1/3 of the remaining olive oil and repeat the process with 4 more stuffed brioche and REPEAT until all stuffed brioche are fried and on the baking sheet.
Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until all the pieces are dark golden brown and have crunchy exteriors. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the stuffed brioche squares rest for 5 minutes.
To serve, dust the squares with the powdered sugar. Lay out 12 Chinese soup spoons and pour a little of the hot beet syrup into each spoon. Top the syrup with the square of stuff brioche and stand a piece of the crispy bacon against the side of each brioche. Garnish each spoon with a garlic hive blossom or a blossom of edible lavender.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

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