A “locavore” is a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food. Along those lines, every month, local chefs welcome Orlando’s locavore, Misty Heath, into their kitchens to break down how to make some of their signature dishes for our readers to make at home.
This column is also featured in our monthly print product, available in restaurants and storefronts across the City Beautiful.
The Ravenous Pig (Facebook | Website) in Winter Park is an excellent spot to enjoy the best meal of the week, brunch. With a powerhouse team of chefs, led by James and Julie Petrakis, their menu is constantly evolving, using local purveyors and seasonal ingredients.
Their Elvis French Toast is new to the brunch menu and was developed by chefs Nick Sierputowski and Camilo Velasco. This dish hits all the notes; it’s salty, sweet, decadent, and a perfect hangover cure. It’s a dish that is worthy of The King.
It all starts with a slab of brioche, dipped in a spiced custard and deep fried. As if that that wasn’t enough, they then top the molten fried dough with maple syrup, banana liquor whipped cream, brûléed bananas, and a bacon peanut toffee—definitely a cheat day dish.
Our streamlined version hits all the elements, with a tad more ease for the at-home cook. Here’s our take on how to tackle this at home. And definitely, have a mimosa or two along the way.
Elvis French Toast (Feeds 4-ish)
- Challah or brioche loaf
- 2 cups of canola oil
- 1.5 cups of half and half
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla paste
- ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1.5oz of banana liqueur (optional, and highly encouraged)
- 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar, and a bit more for sprinkling
- 4 ripe bananas, sliced ½-inch thick on diagonal
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- ½ cup of salted peanuts, rough chopped
- 1 lb of cooked bacon (recommend thick cut)
- ½ cup of maple syrup
In a cold large bowl, whisk the heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and banana liqueur until medium peaks emerge. Your arm may get tired but it’s worth the effort. When the cream is set, put in a pastry piping bag and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. For a more rustic finish, ditch the pastry bag and use a spoon to dollop on your toast.
On a sheet pan, sprinkle an even layer of sugar on the surface of the bananas. If you have a kitchen torch, fire up the bananas until nice and caramelized. No blowtorch? Just broil them in the oven super close to the heating element for 3-5 minutes until they’re nice and golden.
In a large cast iron pan, add oil and begin warming on medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg and whisk some more. Add peanut butter, whisk. Add half and half and whisk until everything is incorporated.
Slice bread in one-inch slabs. The Ravenous Pig does this horizontally for a dramatic preparation. If you prefer, slice vertically for more individually-sized servings.
Check your oil to make sure it’s hot. If you’re not sure, add a drop of water and if it pops, the oil is ready. Increase heat if needed. Dip your bread in the custard on both sides and carefully place in oil. Once nicely browned, use your tongs to flip your toast and brown the other side. It takes about two minutes per side. Place on a paper-towel lined dish and repeat with remaining servings. Keep your toast warm in your oven on its lowest setting until you’re ready to eat.
Arrange your finished toast on some pretty plates. Drizzle with maple syrup. Artfully pipe or spoon your hand-made cream and then heap on the bananas. Finish with a handful of chopped nuts, bacon, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Post a pic, tag us @orlandobungalower, refresh your drink, and enjoy.
- Don’t like bananas—use any fruit you like.
- The vanilla paste can be found in nicer grocery stores—Chef Camilo’s favourite brand is Mannix Vanilla sold at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market
- Prefer not to fry your toast, feel free to use a non-stick pan or griddle.