Challah French Toast with Artisan Cream Cheese, Wood-Grilled Peaches, Local Honey, Parma Prosciutto and Purslane

French ToastCreated by Chef Joseph Wrede of The Palace Restaurant and Saloon

French toast, cheese, peaches and Chardonnay–Chef Wrede’s opening course sounds like a slice of heaven. “I chose to pair my opener with the 2010 Kongsgaard Chardonnay,” he says. “I believe it will pair well with this recipe, in part because the wine’s acidity will contrast well with the clean sweetness found in the challah toast, prosciutto fat, cheese and honey. The flavors of the wine will match well with the grilled peach and earthy mineral flavor tones found in the purslane.”

Peaches: 2
Build a wood fire in your grill. Once coals are formed spread evenly across grill. Scrape grade clean. Slice at 360 degrees around center of peach. Twist the peach sides in counter directions, pulling into two equal pieces. Place the peach flesh-side down on the warm grill. Turn each half 90 degrees after three minutes and cook for three minutes more. Place the peaches in a cool place on a cutting board. Slice into thin pieces.

French toast:
3 organic eggs
1 Tablespoon fresh vanilla bean pulp
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon butter per two pieces of bread

Slice an inch-thick piece of challah. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a bowl to make the batter. Dip the bread slices into the batter. On a medium flame, warm a sauté pan and coat the bottom of the pan with melted butter. Add the bread to the pan before the butter is browned, toasting on each side for three minutes. I recommend using two pieces at a time. Place the French toast in a warm place or under a kitchen towel while finishing this step.

To assemble, place a warm piece of French toast on a clean plate. Place a dollop of artisan cream cheese on top with half of a grilled peach. Take a thin slice of prosciutto and place gently on top like an unfolded free-form tissue. Drizzle local honey over the plate. Garnish with five sprigs of washed purslane from your yard or garden, a dash of sea salt and lightly cracked fresh pink peppercorn.
Serves four

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