Bits + Pieces: Real Food

Here are few bits and pieces of my trip to Real Food this week. If you’re in Orange, let me know and we can go try one of the delicious sandwiches or salads on their menu. It changes weekly and never disappoints. The grilled meatloaf sandwich they had this past week…give me a second whilst I wipe the drool from my face. So delicious. And let’s not forget the prosciutto and brie.

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Roasted Garlic + Orange Vinaigrette

I love a good salad. Well, I guess no one wants to eat a bad salad…but you get what I mean.

This salad, it’s one of the good ones. Remember the challah bread I used for that French toast? Well I used some of the extra to make these delicious croutons. Those, plus orange slices and red onion atop Bibb lettuce all lightly tossed with this vinaigrette…like I said, good salad.

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1 head of Bibb/Boston lettuce (you could use any green of your choice though I highly recommend this buttery variety)

5 cloves garlic

sliced red onion

juice, zest and slices of 1 orange

challah bread (or a baguette)

olive oil

good white wine vinegar

what to do

For the croutons, cut the bread into 1″ cubes and toss with olive oil, salt + pepper and dried parsley flakes. Place on a sheet pan and bake in the oven at 325° until the croutons are crunchy. Set aside to cool.

Place the garlic cloves in a piece of folded foil with some olive oil and roast in the oven for about 30 -45 minutes at 350° until the cloves are soft and fragrant. In a bowl, mash the garlic with a fork, add orange zest and juice. Add 1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil. (this is a standard ratio for vinaigrettes so keep it in mind!) Whisk together with the fork and season with salt and pepper.

To supreme the orange, cut off both butt ends of the orange; follow the shape of the orange and remove the outer layer with a knife, cutting away as much of the white pith as possible. Cut each section out by cutting against the membrane.

Layer your Bibb onto a plate with thinly sliced red onion, oranges and croutons. Lightly cover with vinaigrette and enjoy!

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Honey Orange French Toast

A group of girls from my alma mater came over for breakfast this past weekend and I decided to make something relatively simple, french toast. I used a few loaves of challah bread I had made the day before. Now, if you haven’t had challah, I strongly suggest you go out and get some. Right now. Instead of just doing the standard milk, eggs, cinnamon mixture, I added fresh orange juice, orange zest, and a wee bit of honey. The changes were subtle but oh so delicious. I whipped up some cream, by hand, (see what culinary school has done to me?), and topped the french toast with warm maple syrup and fresh berries.

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ingredients

(for 4 3/4″ thick slices of challah)

3 extra large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

**1 tablespoon honey

**1/2 teaspoon orange zest

**juice of half an orange

1/2 cup of whipping cream

**sugar

what to do

Mix everything but the cream and sugar in a shallow baking dish. Heat a skillet (I used cast iron) over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Place sliced challah into egg mixture to coat both sides. Cook until crisp on the outside and warm on the inside. To make the cream, put it in a chilled bowl and whisk it until medium peaks form. You can also use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment.

Serve the French toast with cream + berries + maple syrup.
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For all of the ingredients with **, feel free to gauge how much you want based on your personally preferences.

Enjoy!