You know, Joe Blanton isn’t fat. He isn’t even big boned. Dude is just a big guy. Not every pitcher has to be a beanpole like Hamels or Halladay. Curt Schilling is a big guy. As @DavefromPhilly kindly points out every time he pitches, Jose Contreras will eat your car. There is a long tradition of giant-pitcher-dudes in baseball. Poor Joe has it tough because on his team, there are only beanpoles. Hamels, Halladay, Moyer, Kendrick, Lidge, Madson, all skinny boys. You stand them all up together with Big Joe, and he’s going to look like the kid who cheated at fat camp.
I kind of like big guys. Maybe it’s because I stand a mere 5’1 and most everyone on the planet towers over me like I’m a character from Gulliver’s Travels. But there’s something old school about a pitcher who looks like he could slam back a couple of beers and a burger and then take the mound. (Author’s Note: It’s at this point that I reread the phrase “take the mound” and collapsed into a five minute fit of giggles, having noticed a double entendre that I’d never seen before.)
So while the enormity of Joe Blanton is largely a myth, and one that I don’t buy into, I couldn’t help but create a recipe for him that is unbelievably unhealthy. I was first introduced to the idea of angel food French toast by @RecipeGeek, and while the concept was fantastic, the recipe left a lot to be desired. So I used Alton Brown’s recipe over at Food Network as a base.
1 Angel Food Cake
1 Cup Half-and-Half
3 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp Honey, warmed in the microwave
¼ Tsp Salt
4 Tbsp Butter
1. Buy an angel food cake. If you really wanted to, you could make one from scratch, but why do that when you’re going to be cutting it up, drenching it in milk and eggs, frying it, baking it, and then smothering it with syrup? Save time and just buy one. Most grocery stores have them on a display with strawberries since we’re nearing the 4th of July and no one can think of a more creative dessert to celebrate the birth of our great nation.
2. Cut the cake into one inch slices. You can make it thicker, but that will make it much harder for the custard to soak in, and what does soak in won’t bake. My least favorite thing on earth is to take a bite of soggy, uncooked French toast. Spread the slices out on several plates and leave them there for 8-12 hours, flipping them over halfway through. Stale cake soaks up more custard, so trust me, it’s worth it.
3. Once the cake is suitably stale, preheat the oven to 375 and set out a pie pan (or other similar pan with high sides). Whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, and honey in the pan. Before adding the honey, you want to warm it up in the microwave. Otherwise, it’s going to take some time and arm strength to whisk everything together – you don’t want gobs of honey floating around.
4. Dip the cake slices into the custard mixture one at a time, letting them soak for 30 seconds on each side. After soaking, let the slices rest for 1-2 minutes.
5. Place a skillet over medium-low heat and melt one tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is melted and starting to foam, place two slices of cake in the pan. You want to fry them until they’re golden brown on each side, but it’s mostly a matter of taste. Some people like underdone French toast, some people like it burnt to a crisp. As the slices come out of the pan, place them on a cookie sheet. Replace the butter in the pan if there isn’t enough left to fry the next pieces.
6. Once all the pieces have been fried and placed on the cookie sheet, put it in the oven for 5-7 minutes. This prevents soggy, underdone French toast and adds a pleasant crispiness.
Angel Food French Toast is great for a celebratory breakfast, or as hangover food, which may or may not be why I ate it. (Hint: it was.)
Next up for Eat the Phillies will be some ice cream for Chooch, and a taste of home for the Flyin’ Hawaiian. Until then, some food for thought: If you were creating a flavor of ice cream for Chooch, what would go in it?