French toast gets a savory twist in this indulgent dish that’s perfect for lunch or brunch. Roasted turkey, gooey cheese, crisp bacon and a tomato salad prove that classic diner food is making a comeback—did it ever really leave?
Sandwich-style bread (such as brioche or any rich bread), ½- to ¾-inch thick
Savory French Toast Batter, as needed
Swiss Cheese Sauce, hot
Tomato & Italian Parsley Salad, drained
SAVORY FRENCH TOAST BATTER
Yield: 10 oz.
SWISS CHEESE SAUCE
2 ½ cups
Whole milk, warm
Swiss cheese, grated
White cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
TOMATO & ITALIAN PARSLEY SALAD
Yield: 3 ½ cups
Fresh Italian parsley, leaves and tender stems
Grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
Red onions, thinly sliced
Red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
TO PREPARE THE TURKEY AND SAVORY FRENCH TOAST HOT BROWN:
1. Prepare the French toast:
• Cut the slice of bread in half diagonally • Dip the bread in the Savory French Toast Batter, coating well and soaking briefly—if the bread soaks for too long, it will fall apart, and if it soaks for not long enough, it will dry in the center
• In a skillet over medium heat or a griddle set at 350°F, brush the cooking surface with a mixture of the melted butter and canola oil, and coat well • Grill both sides of the bread until golden brown and cooked thoroughly in the center, about 3 minutes per side
• Arrange the French toast into a casserole
2. While the French toast is cooking, warm the turkey on the grill (do not overheat), then immediately place it on top of the hot French toast.
3. Ladle the hot Swiss Cheese Sauce over the turkey and French toast.
4. Arrange the crisp bacon crisscrossed over the sauce.
5. Over the center of the bacon, mound the Tomato & Italian Parsley Salad.
TO PREPARE THE SAVORY FRENCH TOAST BATTER:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and blend well with a wire whip.
TO PREPARE THE SWISS CHEESE SAUCE:
1. Heat the butter in a medium-heavy saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter sizzles. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon or a high-temp rubber spatula. Cook and stir for approximately 3 minutes (do not brown). Remove from the heat and cool for 3–5 minutes.
2. Slowly incorporate the warm milk into the cooled roux with a wooden spoon or a wire whisk if the inside of the pot is made from stainless steel. Return the sauce to the medium-high heat and bring to a simmer (do not scorch). Add the cream, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Continue to cook until thick and smooth. Turn off the heat.
3. Fold in the grated cheeses and stir until melted and smooth. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with milk or cream. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
TO PREPARE THE TOMATO & ITALIAN PARSLEY SALAD:
1. Combine all the ingredients and toss.
2. Place the salad into a container with a lid. Label, date and refrigerate.