Grillmasters insist that just about everything tastes a little better when cooked over a flame. Even though grilling often is reserved for lunch or dinner, there’s something to be said about preparing breakfast on those hot grates as well.
According to Andrew Schloss and David Joachim, authors of the cookbook “Mastering the Grill: The Owner’s Manual for Outdoor Cooking” (Chronicle Books), there’s reckless abandon involved in standing by an open fire in a robe preparing breakfast. It can turn a mundane morning into one right out of a camping expedition. For their “Grilled French Toast,” the extra crunch and slight char grilling provides catapults this breakfast staple to another level of flavor.
Grilled Stuffed French Toast
Makes 4 servings
1 loaf Italian bread
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
3⁄4 cup blueberries
11⁄2 cups half-and-half or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Oil for coating grill grate
1⁄4 cup Orange Honey-Butter Glaze (see below)
1. Cut off and discard a small diagonal slice from each end of the bread. Cut the bread on the diagonal into about eight 11⁄2-inch-thick slices. Cut a slit through the top crust of each slice to form a deep pocket.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar, and the almond extract. Stir in the blueberries and spoon the filling equally into the bread pockets. Lay the stuffed slices of bread in a shallow 4-quart baking dish, such as a 15-by-10-inch dish.
3. Clean and dry the bowl, then use it to whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla extract, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread. Carefully tilt the pan and swirl the egg mixture to completely coat the bread. Let sit for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
4. Heat the grill to 350 F for a gas grill, medium ash for charcoal, and medium ash for wood.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the French toast on the grill and cook until nicely browned and crisp on the outside, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and, using a pastry or basting brush, brush both sides with the Orange Honey-Butter Glaze.
Orange Honey-Butter Glaze
Makes 1⁄4 cup
2 tablespoons butter, well softened
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Pinch of grated nutmeg
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until creamy and spreadable like icing. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Soften to a spreadable consistency before using.