Brie-Stuffed Italian French Toast

It must have been singing at the Department of Surgery Holiday Party last night that got me in the mood at breakfast to make incisions. This morning was an exciting operation on the loaf of whole wheat Italian bread I made after I got home from the gig—into which I sewed Brie cheese implants. Then I proceeded to cook the toast like I normally do when making French toast. Oooh la la. Something else to sing about.

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Brie-Stuffed Italian French Toast

Adapted from Hyvee Seasons

4 thick slices French or Italian bread

4 oz Brie cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick

6 large eggs

2 tsp  ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp  nutmeg (key ingredient!)

1 tbsp  sugar

1 tsp  vanilla

1 c.  whole milk

1 c. chopped  walnuts

2 tbsp  unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp  powdered sugar

Maple syrup (home-made is what I prefer!)

Syrup recipe: Bring 1 ¼ cups water with 1 cup white sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar to a boil and keep it boiling until it is showing signs of syrupiness (can take 10-15 minutes). Then, remove from the heat, and as its cooling, add about a tsp of Mapleine or some other maple flavoring (although mapleine is the best). Store in a syrup pouring container in the fridge.

Surgical technique for Brie implantation:

Make an incision on the crust side of the bread slices about 3/4 of the way through to create a pocket. Image

Push Brie implant into the pocket (you may choose to suture closed, but I think that is unnecessary—unless you have decided to implant an ungodly amount of cheese, in which case, all that proceeds is at your own risk); set aside.  Image

In a medium shallow bowl, whisk eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, vanilla and milk; set aside. Put chopped nuts on a sheet pan; set aside.

Dip bread slices in egg batter making sure to let each side soak for about 20 seconds. Dip the edges into the nuts. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add stuffed bread slices and brown on each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from skillet and serve immediately. Top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and syrup.

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See, you can’t even see the scar from the incision! The holiday party gig went well, but it was hard not to feel that I was being visually dissected by the audience of surgeons. Our group does old jazz standards, so it was quite a surprise when a sequin-clad gynecologist approached me on break to ask if we did Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” Oh how I wished, for her sake, that we did. I feel moderate chagrin on having entirely missed the 70s. So I’ve been playing Abba all morning while making pies for my Ugly Sweater party tonight–the seventies being a decade of particularly ugly sweaters. Care to join me? Ten times through this song is probably a good start at burning off the calories from a brie Italian French toast breakfast…but only if you dance with three ounces more heart than the ladies in Abba’s awful music video. I thought disco had a touch more cardio.

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