Hot Outta The Oven: Strawberry Crunch Toast

Hot foodie Teri Tsang Barrett knows her way around a kitchen—a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she works as a Food Editor at Everyday With Rachael Ray in constant search of the perfect thin crust pizza. Every couple of weeks she’ll be chiming in with her favorite frisky recipes—good food that every ravenous gal can make in a pinch. Here’s her latest concoction — Strawberry Crunch Toast that will be your hungry man’s favorite breakfast. Or, you know, yours if you’re single and/or hungover. Not gonna lie, all my cookery has proven that the way to a man’s heart might indeed be his stomach. And it’s always emptiest the morning after. Fill his belly with the magic of Strawberry Crunch Toast. This is no ordinary French toast: a crunchy crumble, bacon as a secret ingredient…it makes me want to wake up all over again. Quick and simple to make, it’s hard not to be won over.

Serves Two Very Hungry People

1/3 cup instant minute rice
4 large strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
8 slices very thin bread, such as Pepperidge Farm
3 tablespoons strawberry jelly
3 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon (from 2 slices)
2 tablespoons butter

1. Using a food processor, pulse the rice until finely and evenly ground. Transfer to a small plate and place next to the stove. Using the same food processor, puree the strawberries; you will need about 3 tablespoons puree.
2. In a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla and salt. Place alongside the ground rice.
3. On a work surface, lay the bread slices flat. Spread 2 teaspoons puree on each of 4 bread slices, leaving a 1/3-inch border around. Spread 2 teaspoons strawberry jelly on each of the remaining bread slices, leaving a 1/3-inch border around. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons bacon on each of the jelly bread slices, then set the remaining bread slices into place, puree side in. Press each sandwich gently with the palm of your hand, then pinch the edges together to seal with your fingers.
4. Line a large plate with wax paper and set near the stove. Working one sandwich at a time, soak in the egg mixture for 3 seconds until saturated, letting the excess drip off. Coat in the ground rice on both sides and place on the prepared plate. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
5. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Cut on the diagonal, if desired, and serve immediately.