Coconut is just one of those foods: either you love it, or you hate it. Ain't no in-between. And I don't mean to be all melodramatic, but I can't for the life of me understand how any person in their right mind can resist the stuff. I'd pack it into all my pores if I could.
When I meet someone as loony about coconut as I am, I know they're a keeper. We can be real friends, true companions, for a long time to come. I'll let them watch my kids. Have my PIN. Drive my car when theirs is in the shop. I mean, if they love coconut, we'll mate for life.
Now, if you turn your nose up at the stuff, beware. I'm not saying I won't invite you for dinner, just that I won't bring my A game. You'll get the London broil but not the filet. The Two Buck Chuck, not the Veuve Clicquot. After all, if you don't like coconut, you're inherently suspect. And why waste the good stuff? Our relationship won't last anyway.
(And if you want to read about someone who loathes carob -- yes, carob -- as much as I love coconut, check out food writer Charmian Christie's blog here.)
You got a little taste of my coco-obsession via yesterday's peanut-coconut sauce. If, after today's recipe, you're still not a fan, you and I are probably through. I value your readership, but honestly, would we ever weather the tough times, traipse into the twilight of our lives, if we diverge this fully on something so fundamental?
I'm thinking not.
Recipe for Toasted Coconut French Toast Stacks
Here's a perfect use for the leftover coconut milk from the peanut sauce recipe you made yesterday. The toasted coconut topping really brings the flavors home so please, for the love of whatever higher being you pray to, don't leave it out. And if you can swing it, cook the French toast in butter. From a flavor/browning point of view, it makes a noticeable difference.
Makes 4 stacks
1 cup well-shaken light coconut milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond (or vanilla) extract
pinch each salt and ground cardamom
a little butter (or cooking spray)
4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, or bread of your choosing, cut into 4 squares each
1/2 cup unsweetened (natural) shredded coconut, toasted in a dry skillet
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
maple syrup, wholly optional
Whisk together all custard ingredients (eggs through cardamom) in a medium bowl.
Heat a large nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium-high heat until very hot.
Dip bread squares in custard for about 20 seconds, submerging and/or flipping to coat evenly. Add a little butter (or cooking spray) to the skillet. Cook the bread for 4 to 5 minutes total, reducing the heat slightly if necessary, until golden brown and firm to the touch, flipping once halfway through cook time. (Do not undercook or your French toast will be mushy.) Work in stages and add a touch more butter as necessary.
Top each cooked square with a little toasted coconut. Sift powdered sugar over top. Stack the squares on top of one another, making 4 little towers of 4 French toast squares each. Serve with maple syrup, only if desired.