Cookbook Review: Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen

Kevin Belton's New Orleans Kitchen Pecan Stuffed French Toast

Kevin Belton’s is at it again with a second cookbook showcasing even more of his delicious Creole and Cajun recipes. Try his delicious and sumptuous Pecan-Stuffed French Toast Recipe (My personal favourite!) The book contains recipes for tasty New Orleans classics like Crawfish Pie, Fried Oyster Po-Boy with Blue Cheese and Buffalo Sauce, and Duck and Andouille Gumbo with Potato Salad, as well as foreign favourites with a little New Orleans twist, like Cuban Paella, Vietnamese Wonton Soup with Shrimp Dumplings, and Greek Souvlaki with Tzatziki.

A nationally and internationally recognized chef and educator as well as the star of PBS/WYES’s New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton, and now Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen, Chef Kevin is known for his expertise in creating New Orleans cuisine as well sharing the culture and culinary heritage of one of the greatest city in the world.

Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


Pecan-Stuffed French Toast

Pecan Stuffed French Toast

Photography by Eugenia Uhl

My favourite place to have stuffed French toast was at Elizabeth’s in the Bywater when Chef Heidi was first getting started in New Orleans with her landmark restaurant. As a matter of fact, this was the first time I had anything remotely resembling a “stuffed” pain perdu or “lost bread.” Mom made this dish but stopped short of where Heidi really got my attention. She sliced the French bread on the bias and put huge amounts of fruit and cream and syrup all over the plate and in between the bread. Heaven. It was like my Mom’s version, but Heidi took it to the next level.

 

Serves 8

16 ounces cream cheese, softened and whipped

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

16 slices brioche

6 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed

Steen’s syrup or maple syrup

1⁄2 cup blueberries

1⁄2 cup raspberries

1 cup strawberries, sliced

 

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and 1⁄2 cup pecans. Divide and spread cream cheese mixture evenly over 8 slices of bread and then top each slice with remaining bread to form a sandwich.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with cream, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and salt to make a thin batter. Dip each sandwich in the batter to lightly coat.

Melt butter in a skillet or griddle over medium heat and fry sandwiches until golden brown on both sides. Add more butter to the skillet as needed. Place finished French toast sandwiches in the oven to keep warm while you fry the others.

To serve, plate each French toast sandwich and sprinkle remaining pecans evenly over the tops; drizzle with syrup and top with blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Tips & Suggestions

Any bread works. Be sure to use bread that’s a few days old. It just holds up better.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Gibbs Smith.

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