The Perfect Mistake

If I had a cooking show, I would say it would run along the same pretense of Tool Time, the main character of Home Improvement’s slapstick, handyman show. Of course, in Tool Time, Tim had a resilient sidekick who would clean up and fix the inevitable mistakes made by Tim “The Toolman” Taylor. So, I guess I would need a sidekick. What I am really trying to say is that I mess up a lot in the kitchen—be it burning red chili flakes in hot oil and causing an evacuation of the apartment due to uncontrollable coughing from pepper-laced air or just your average volcanic-erupting soufflé. I make plenty of mistakes; however, every so often, I make a mistake for the better.

For instance, just the other day while hanging out at a beach house with some friends, we all chose one meal to prepare over the course of the weekend. I decided to cook Baked French Toast with Blueberries and Pecans for brunch. I had made this twice before. The first being a faulty attempt and the second being marginally successful, but this last attempt was dare I say it, “right on point.” However, it wasn’t until I emailed my friends the recipe that I noticed I had a made a big yet much needed mistake. I accidentally left out a whole cup of milk from the recipe.

The main complaint of my first attempt at this recipe was that the bread seemed overly soggy and nowhere near vaguely reminiscent of the crispy outside of ordinary pan-seared French toast. I shrugged it off because it was, in essence, “baked” and not cooked in a pan.  For my next attempt, I recalled pouring off some of the liquid before baking it, which contributed to it being slightly less moist. Forgive me for using the term “moist,” knowing some find this candid adjective overly offensive for reasons I dare not suggest. Yet, the most recent mistake of forgetting to add the milk made for the perfect consistency and taste. So yeah, sometimes mistakes are necessary in the grandiose search for perfection. The original recipe came from the Food Network vault, which I then adapted for a food column I was writing, but has since been revised further due to my latest mistake.

SIDENOTE: I also should add that this recipe is not necessarily healthy. Yes, it does contain blueberries, which just so happen to be chock-a-block full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are all the rage these days, much like skinny jeans, but more adaptable to all body forms. They are, in fact, helpful in fighting against heart disease, cancers and other types of illnesses due to their ability to wrangle those nasty free radicals. Thank goodness for blueberries’ brilliantly blue hue because in their pigment lies supreme antioxidant powers or phytonutrients called anthocyanidins. Also, this recipe involves a healthful dose of pecans, which are a good source of unsaturated fats. Not as hot of a trend as walnuts with their brain power boost, but a moderate replacement. Enjoy!

Baked French Toast with Blueberries and Pecans

Cooking spray

1 (12-inch) thick baguette, cut into 1-inch slices

5 eggs

¼ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup pecans, chopped

¼ cup butter, melted

¼ cup light brown sugar

  1. Place baguette slices in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and next five ingredients (sugar through cinnamon) and pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Remove bread mixture from refrigerator; let stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over bread mixture. Mix together butter and brown sugar and drizzle over bread. Bake for 30 minutes or until the liquid from the blueberries is bubbling. Yield: 4-6 servings
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2 Comments »

  1. amacaday said

    Moist. Yes, for all reasons unstated and stated. Ick. Recipe, however, sounds fabulous 🙂
    Oh, this is Megan, yes, I know it says amacaday. That’s my site that I have yet to start, so don’t go there expecting anything. This summer it’ll hopefully get rolling. You’re providing me motivation.

  2. KT said

    moist. yikes. this blog, however…..is wonderfully witty. LOVE it!!!!

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