By PAUL SIDORIAK
On game day, I often get up early. Not because I have stuff to do, but because I just can’t sleep.
It’s kind of ironic because I am a football fan, but by no means a super fan. I love gameday cooking and have been known to plan a menu around whomever we are playing. The problem is that sometimes beverages get involved and I just can’t wait until kickoff to have something to eat.
Recently, I decided to fill the pre-game void with breakfast on the grill. I had French toast on my mind.
I am not much of an egg guy. If I have French toast, I prefer it to only have a scant resemblance of being dipped in egg, just enough to help it brown. It turned out that the dry heat from the grill worked magically to impart flavor and texture without any custardy egg residue.
I cracked three eggs into the stand mixer. Mixed with a quarter cup each of black coffee and half and half, along with a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon, the eggs whisked away on high speed for a few minutes until they got really frothy. The aroma of the coffee, cream, and cinnamon whisking away took my mind off of the game while the grill warmed up.
Dropping a few sausages on the grate, they sizzled away as I gathered the courage to grill the toast. In hindsight, my apprehension was unnecessary, but I did have the fear of a stinky burnt egg mess gracing my grill. I dipped the bread in the egg mixture just long enough to soak up some flavor.
I could immediately smell the cinnamon when the soon-to-be French toast hit the grill. It seemed to have an interesting effect on the bread. The bottom seared over the intense heat, but the top roasted or baked as if it was in an oven. The French toast cooked for about two minutes per side with a close eye kept out for signs of burning.
When it hit the plate, I topped it with a little butter and real Vermont maple syrup. Somehow the combination of coffee and cinnamon were accentuated by the grilling and it almost smelled like fall football was in the air.
The grilled French toast and sausage was a huge win, which was good. My team ended up losing their home opener.
Check out Paul’s other tasty grilling recipes for summer (or any season!) in his blog archive.
Paul moved to Montana in 1996 with about a dozen friends from Lyndon State College in Vermont. He is still reluctantly paying his student loans and has carved out a career working as a supplier representative for various food and beverage products.
Paul enjoys grilling after a day on the water or an afternoon in the garden, where he has been known to grow heirloom tomatoes and peppers out of spite. Often cooking for extended family and friends, he takes a whimsical approach to cooking simple, seasonal dishes, while not taking it too seriously.
Paul does all of his grilling on the Big Green Egg Grill, available in Missoula at the Axmen.
You can read more of Paul’s grilling recipes at his blog site, Montana Mise en Place.