Why are the best recipes born of equal parts desperation and inspiration? During the Moroccan-themed dinner, I started thinking about how to use the locally baked pita that was starting to go stale, the Medjool dates from Trader Joe’s, and the bag of walnuts that is ever-present in the Practical Cook test kitchen for snacking, salads, etc.
Years ago, I had one of the more amazing meals of my life at Marrakesh in Washington, D.C. If you ever have the opportunity, go, it’s an experience (complete with a ritual hand washing and belly dancer), and the food is pretty great, too. I was a practicing vegetarian at the time, so I had the non-meat version of Bastilla. I still remember the taste.
Fast forward to a few days ago, the arrival of the Everyday Food Magazine, of which I’m a subscriber and fan. There was an article about alternative uses of pita, including a sweet pita that involved a dip in the egg pool. And thus a new dessert was born.
Moroccan French Toast Recipe
Recipe makes 8 pieces and will serve 4 people. Can easily be doubled or tripled. Confused about the method? Want to see hear it sizzling in the pan? Watch the video!
1 pita, cut in half and opened gently for stuffing
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped Medjool dates
1/2 cup milk (make this a healthy measure, don’t skimp)
sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons sugar
honey or powdered sugar
1. Chop the walnuts and dates together until they are well-mixed, but still chunky.
2. In a shallow bowl or pie pan, beat the egg with the milk, cinnamon, salt, and sugar until the mixture is frothy and smooth.
3. Carefully stuff the walnut mixture into the pita halves, smoothing out to make it even and reasonably flat. Cut each half into 4 pieces for a total of 8 pieces.
4. Preheat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
5. Press the wedges together to make sure filling is secure, and carefully dip the wedge into the egg mixture, letting it soak for a couple of minutes on each side. Turn it over end over end, instead of side to side, to keep the filling inside. (Watch video for more detail on this.)
6. When the butter is melted and not foaming, fry the Moroccan French Toast, a few minutes per side.
7. Remove the Moroccan French Toast from the pan and drizzle with honey or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Enjoy while warm! This is in fact as delicious as it looks.
Though I plan to make Moroccan Meatballs for dinner tonight, I will give the region a rest and blog about that later. Tomorrow, Kitchen Tool Talk: 3 (More) of My Favorite Things.
Thanks for all of the feedback this week. The Practical Cook will be answering viewer mail next week, so it’s a great time to submit a question. Don’t be shy! practical cook at gmail dot com