How to Make French Toast With a Centrifuge and a Sous Vide Machine

brioche with pea butter and sv egg 690

We had friends over for brunch last weekend, so I pulled out an old standby: brioche with a 64°C egg, maple syrup, pancetta and pea butter.  It’s my version of French toast, you know, because of the toast part.  I’m not trying to sound snooty when I say this is “as simple as can be” because you do need a sous vide machine and a centrifuge to make it.  However, provided you have those tools, the recipe brain-dead easy.  When I was growing up, we used to go for brunch at a diner that made “sweet pea guacamole” served alongside a Tex-Mex omelet.  I loved the notion of having peas with breakfast, and once I discovered centrifuged pea butter, that was even more reason to work it into the dish.  I’m sure there’s a “green eggs and ham” permutation of these ingredients, too; if you find it, please share.

Total kitchen time: 10 minutes + 3 hours centrifuge time + 1 hour sous vide time
Makes: 4 servings

  1. Make pea butter by blending 4lbs of thawed peas until smooth, then centrifuging at 1500 RPMs for 2-3 hours. 
  2. Cook 4 eggs sous vide at 64°C for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile. cut 4 slices of brioche, about 1” thick.  Toast on a flat-top grill with copious amounts of melted butter.
  4. Fry up 8-12 slices of pancetta.  Pro tip: frying pancetta in a waffle cone maker keeps it from curling up.

To assemble, top the toasted brioche with an egg. Pour over pea butter and warmed maple syrup.  Finish with slices of fried pancetta. 

[Thanks to the Estevez family and my wife Rachel for helping me make a mess in the photo above]

Crab and Mascarpone Omelette

crab omlette 
Oh the joy of leftovers!  Trust me, if you had what I had for dinner last night, you would share my passion for this delectable day-after breakfast. 

Total kitchen time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 rewarded chef (just multiply everything if there are other worthy cooks in the household)

Shopping List:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. crème fraîche
  • finely diced chives, to garnish
  1. Heat the butter over high heat in a small skillet until foamy. 
  2. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper.  Whisk the mixture with a fork to incorporate as much air as possible.
  3. Pour the egg mixture in the skillet and swirl it around a bit so it is just ever-so-scrambled.  Now wait.  Don’t do anything for at least 45 seconds.
  4. Using a silicone spatula, scrape around the edges of the pan to loosen the egg from the sides.   Tilt and swirl the pan to allow the runny, uncooked egg on top to drip down underneath the cooked parts.  Do this for about a minute.
  5. Add the mascarpone and crab meat to one side of the pan and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.  Using your silicone spatula, fold the opposite side of the eggs over the crab bits.  Gracefully slide the whole thing onto a plate.
  6. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and some chives.

You worked hard last night, picking all that crab.  And, if your guests happen to be joining you for breakfast, they will all appreciate your effort.  Enjoy with a mimosa and a smile.