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"My perfect last meal would be: shrimp cocktail, lasagna, steak, creamed spinach, salad with bleu cheese dressing, onion rings, garlic bread, and a dessert of strawberry shortcake."
Joan Rivers (1933-2014) American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host

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Pain Perdue ("lost bread" in French), is the original version of the more commonly known "French Toast". The Creole people in Louisiana are notorious for being frugal. This dish developed when they found a use for "stale" bread.

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Serving Size: 4

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 8 slices day-old Baguette, sliced 3/4-inch thick
  • confectioner's sugar
  • maple syrup
  • fruit preserves, optional
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Determine if your large non-stick frying pan will hold all eight slices of bread at one time. If not, preheat oven to 200° to hold cooked bread while preparing the other slices. Be sure your baguette slices are really stale (quite hard to the touch).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until well blended. Add the milk, vanilla and cinnamon; whisk well. Place all the baguette slices in one layer in an oblong dish. Pour the egg mixture over the slices and toss to coat, leaving the slices in one layer. Allow the baguette slices to soak up and absorb the mixture, turning with tongs occasionally. Do not let the bread soak so long that the bread begins to falls apart. This could take 15-20 minutes, depending on how stale your bread is.

Heat butter over medium heat in the large frying pan. (If  you are doing this in batches, use half of the butter at a time.) Place bread in the pan and cook over medium-low to medium heat until golden brown, about ten minutes, turning once. (If doing in batches, place first batch in oven to keep warm. Fry second batch following same procedure.) Place on plates and sprinkle lightly with confectioner's sugar. Serve with syrup and/or fruit preserves.

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