National Burger Month 05/08/2010: Breakfast - pork sausage and french toast

So I am beginning to take liberties with the definition of burger. I guess I should really name this series "What would ___ dress up like if ___ pretended to be a burger. " Today, it would be "What would sausage and french toast dress up like if sausage and french toast pretended to be a burger."

I made french toast using the recipe I documented here for Andrea's Happyoca Strhubarb Breakfast. Cut them with a cookie cutter to make nice little rounds. If in the Bay Area, the Trader Joe's around here carry a wonderful Cinnamon Twist Bread from Semifreddi's. I think they're a kind of a regional super bakery that sells their stuff at local markets. In all my years of french toast making, I think that Semifreddi's cinnamon twist bread is the best for french toast.

And then I fried up some pork sausage that I procured at my favorite Santa Cruz grocery, Shopper's Corner. They sell sausage without the casings at Shopper's Corner which is very convenient for making patties. I guess I could've gone Jimmy Dean but this was better. Incidentally I also used some of the farmer's market strawberries that Bettina had bought without asking her. She went off on a totally unplanned trip to New Mexico to do nothing but look at pretty rocks. So before the strawberries turned to mush I decided I'd steal them from her.

If I had really wanted to make this fancy I probably would've found some mascarpone to top it with. But it was good the way it was.

This is what sausage and french toast would look like if sausage and french toast pretended to be a burger:

National Burger Month Day 18: Andrea's Happyoca Strhubarb Breakfast Burger

Several days ago, we were brainstorming about how to bring National Burger Month to breakfast. Plenty of suggestions flew-- sausage, waffles, sweet, savory, whatever. On Sunday, we had a bunch of folks over and this is what we served.

This is Andrea's Happyoca Strhubarb Breakfast Burger. That's a name-by-committee-name, with plenty of input from the breakfasters. In short, it is a "burger" of tapioca pudding with strawberry and rhubarb, topped by kiwi and more strawberry, with a "mayo" of maple syrup-infused whipped mascarpone and cream, bunned in french toast.

Everything was cobbled together on the fly, so we have no detailed ingredients list. But here's a vague rundown. A few ribs of rhubarb were chopped and boiled until soft with a bit of sugar. These are set aside while the tapioca is prepared in a saucepan-- we used both the pearls and the starch to ensure the clumpiness of the "pattie." The tapioca was further enhanced by fresh vanilla bean and cardamom. The set aside rhubarb and some chopped strawberries were then mixed into the pudding, then poured into pattie-molds and refrigerated to set.

While this happyoca business was happening, the french toast was also getting busy. I can give more detailed instructions this time as the french toast action happens at our house fairly frequently. We always start with cinnamon swirl bread.

For 12 pieces of french toast:
8 eggs
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
a pinch or two or three of salt

Soak the bread, then fry on a buttered griddle.

Finally, the whipped cream with mascarpone and maple. We just whipped some heavy cream, stirred in a little bit of mascarpone, but not too much as we wanted to keep the stuff fluffy. And then we drizzled about a teaspoon or so of maple syrup. That's it.

As anyone might imagine, the breakfast was delicious. It all came together wonderfully.

And if people don't count this as a real burger, we went out to the Saturn Cafe in the evening and had burgers in quirky Santa Cruz style. So we had an insurance burger for dinner if this breakfast one was too loose a play on burger.