Gourmet brunch, thrifty style

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that my dinners out this weekend have provided me with two new food items: whole cardamom pods from The Ayurveda Cafe and freshly baked bread from Le Pain Quotidien. This morning, I combined the two to make Cardamom French Toast!

I broke into a cardamom pod, and here’s what I found inside:

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I gathered about a tsp of the seeds (and I still have more pods left!):

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Because I don’t have proper spice grinding tools and I didn’t feel like using a knife to chop the teeny seeds to smithereens, I added them to my French toast batter in the hopes that they would soften as they soaked. In addition to the cardamom, the batter contained 1 egg, 3/4 cup skim milk, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. I sliced last night’s bread so I had four pieces:

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And pressed the bread into the batter bowl so it could soak in the fridge for 30 minutes while I worked on other things:

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Eventually, I heated 1/2 Tbsp canola oil in a nonstick pan and dumped in the entire contents of the bowl. Some of the bread pieces fell apart because they were so saturated with the batter. Can you spot the cardamom?

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Once the French Toast finished cooking, I topped it with cinnamon and a tsp of my roommate Brigitte’s (of the pulled pork fame) maple cream. Have you experienced maple cream before? It tastes exactly like those leaf-shaped maple candies they sell in Vermont … except that it’s creamy (surprise!).

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Here’s my brunch spread with Nutcracker Sweet tea, the last half cup of chopped cantaloupe and strawberries (with nutmeg), and French Toast:

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Mmmmmm:

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Of course, I ended up topping the toast with the fruit:

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I loved the cardamom flavor in this dish. The whole seeds were definitely more flavorful than my ground cardamom, and they added a fun crunch to the meal. Because some of the seeds were still a little too strong, I’ll probably soak them longer or find a way to crush them next time.

Although delicious, I’m not sure how long this meal will hold me over since the bread was definitely not whole grain. I will very likely be eating again sooner rather than later!

One thought on “Gourmet brunch, thrifty style

  1. priyankalovesfood says:

    Hey just found your blog! I suggest if you liked the flavors of cardamom, you should give it a try in your vanilla chai tea! The cardamom completely enhances the flavor! This is one ingredient I never miss out in my chai!

    Like

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