pice of Life with Bel Arneson
- 1 1/2 cups pitted and quartered Bing cherries
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch ground green cardamom
- Pinch ground cloves
- 3 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 8 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
- 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon ground fennel
- 2 pinches ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons jaggery or brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
For the cherry salsa: Combine the cherries, paprika, cardamom, cloves, mint, honey and maple syrup in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
For the French toast: Using a biscuit cutter or an empty can, cut a round from each slice of bread.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of the cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon of the fennel, 1 pinch of the cloves and all of the jaggery. Mix until well blended.
Spread a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto a bread round. Top with a second round to form a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining rounds.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat.
In a baking dish, whisk the eggs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon fennel and pinch cloves. Dip the stuffed bread rounds into the egg mixture, making sure that each is coated on all sides and has absorbed the egg mixture, 10 to 15 seconds of soaking per side.
Use the butter to grease the griddle. Place the egg-soaked 'sandwiches' on the griddle and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned; then, using tongs, slowly roll them on their edges to ensure all sides are fully cooked.
Transfer to the French toast to plates, top with some of the cherry salsa and serve.