Ah yes, brunch. Who does brunch better than New Yorkers? I’m sure each city in the country would say they do, but they’d be wrong. You know why? Because we don’t put up with a bunch of brunch shenanigans that other cities might. There are hundreds of spots to grab a bite here on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. If you’ve got time to kill, sure, go wait on line somewhere for their famous French toast or pancakes or fried chicken. If you’re in a rush, no problem. Go grab a bagel and cream cheese to eat sandwich-style on the walk to wherever it is you’re going, or a bacon, egg, and cheese from the bodega next to your apartment. We’ve got you. We take this brunch thing a little more seriously than most (generally). And of course, orange juice always has a place at brunch, from fresh squeezed to mimosas, which is why I was so excited when Simply Orange reached out to me about helping them create an OJ-inspired recipe. Today, I’ll be using the natural brightness of Simply Orange to show off what NYC is all about, breakfast style. I was already a pretty big fan of Simply before they contacted me and I’m sure a lot of you are too. It has great fresh-squeezed taste, is never frozen, sweetened or concentrated. Boom. Plus the bottle is pretty good lookin’ and you all know I’m a sucker for a pretty face. So, if you’re an orange juice fanatic like me, let’s talk about how you can get Simply Orange to hook you up: head to their Facebook page to poke around, browse some recipes, and enjoy your brunch. Or if you’re in New York and looking for Simply coupons and prizes, visit Gotham to Grove for more.
Let’s talk this French toast now, shall we? It’s one of my absolute favorite brunch (or just breakfast) treats. It is a treat, don’t get me wrong. If you eat this every day, you’re going to look like me the day after Thanksgiving. But it is delicious, and worth giving over to every once in awhile. We’ve got buttery challah, stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese, dipped in an egg, OJ, and milk mixture, then toasted in a pan with butter until golden and hot, hot, hot! I will admit: I brought the leftovers of this to a bar for friends later in the day, and I swear to you, it was eaten cold. Devoured, I tell you. It takes on an almost bread pudding-like texture after a few hours. What’s not to love about that? Make this, wrap it in some foil, and take it to go. You’re busy, after all.
So, ready to eat? Great. Me too.
Whisk together your orange juice, milk, vanilla, and eggs.
Dip, stuff, and fry up your challah.
Make sure you use plenty of syrup, and serve with a glass of orange juice, of course! This is brunch, after all.
Don’t have time to whip up this recipe? Don’t worry – we’ve got you. Simply Orange Juice pairs perfectly by itself with a bagel from your favorite shop.
- 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 loaf challah, sliced into thick 1-½ inch pieces
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Maple syrup
- Powdered sugar
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, orange juice, vanilla, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a larger bowl or shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup cream, and vanilla. Set aside.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add in one tablespoon of butter. Take each 1-½ inch slice of challah and slice it almost all the way through, like a hot dog bun. Generously fill each slice with your ricotta mixture, then dip each slice on each side into the egg mixture.
- Place your French toast in your skillet and cook on each side for 3 minutes or so, until golden brown. Continue working until you’ve gone through all of your French toast (you can keep your finished French toast on a baking sheet in a 300 degrees F oven). Serve with plenty of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.