People sometimes think that by limiting themselves to food produced locally, locavores are also limiting themselves to plain, simple, boring dishes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While farm fresh local food often has so much natural flavor that little needs to be done to make it delectable, you can also get as fancy as you like with the same ingredients.
This week’s menu includes Savory Stuffed French Toast, a perfect dish for making any breakfast extra special. I prepared it on Mother’s Day recently, and it’s also suitable for birthdays, brunches, or for overnight guests.
I started with homemade brioche for the bread, but if you prefer you could use something freshly made from Avenue Bread (Bellingham). You could also adapt any favorite bread recipe using local ingredients.
As far as I know, no one grows grains commercially in Whatcom County. It’s not the ideal climate. However, Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill (Bellingham) uses regional grains from as close to home as possible. They grind organic flour freshly each week, and they make a hard red spring wheat flour especially for use in bread making. The texture, fragrance, and flavor are delightful.
The rest of the brioche recipe was easy to adapt. Milk with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar makes a simple substitute for buttermilk, and local honey from 4th Corner Farm (Ferndale) gave my brioche a slightly sweet flavor that contrasted nicely with the savory French toast filling. Only the yeast, salt, and baking powder were non-local.
Because it’s spring, I served the Stuffed French Toast with seared fresh asparagus (my favorite style) and an herbed yogurt dressing.
Here’s the complete menu:
You can be creative with this menu by exploring other seasonal side dish possibilities.