I’ve mentioned before that I usually do my weekend morning market by myself. It’s a great time to disconnect from work, greet the weekend, and lose myself in something I love to do – look over produce and shop for all manners of edibles. Be that as it may, we sometimes also do this market trip as a family. C gets to make sure I add the goodies he particularly likes to the market basket, and I get to introduce little C to the purveyors that supply us with her carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms. Sometimes though, when C is off biking on some mountain trail, the market trip becomes a mother-daughter outing…also very special in its own right.
When I go to the market with little C, our first stop is a bakery stall that specializes in whole wheat breads. I buy a bag of mini whole wheat pan de sal (pan de sal is a local bun traditionally baked in a brick, wood-burning oven) which are her favorite. As soon as we enter the market she pipes up with pleas for “pandeyitos” (her version of pandesalitos – which is what I call these little buns). When we open the bag she immediately takes one for herself and one to offer to me. Throughout a market visit she will probably go through five pieces – after each one is finished she will look at us and demand another of her “pandeyitos”. I fear she is turning into a little bread monster but, for now, I am just happy it’s whole wheat buns and not McNuggets.
Despite little C’s and my (oh yes I love them too) love for these pandesalitos, a bag contains something like 30 pieces and we can never finish them before they go past their prime. Here’s something I did with the stragglers from one such bag.
Pan de Sal & Cheese French Toast
- 8-10 mini pan de sal (or 4-5 regular ones, depending on size), a couple of days old
- 100-150 grams ricotta cheese (or any fresh white cheese)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- A couple of pats of butter
- Honey for drizzling
- Cut the pan de sal in half but not all the way. Stuff with ricotta cheese and firmly press close.
- Whisk milk and egg together until homogenous.
- Heat a pat of butter in a skillet until melted and frothy.
- Dip the cheese filled pan de sal into the milk-egg mixture until it is coated all over, taking care that none of the cheese falls out.
- Place milk-egg-soaked pan de sal onto the frothing butter and cook, pressing down gently with a turner, until golden brown. Flip and repeat with the other side. Repeat until you finish all the pan de sal.
- Serve warm with generous drizzlings of honey.
I think we have firmly established that I am a lover of French toast. I must say though, that these mini cheese-filled versions have put a new shine on my fervor. They have crusty outsides and soft cheesy middles, which, drenched with honey, are like sunshine on a weekday morning, when the memory of a lovely weekend market jaunt is beginning to fade. The ricotta cheese I used here is locally made and bought from the market as well, along with the honey. This was also little C’s first taste of French toast, which she took to quite well…although the sticky feeling on honey on her fingers is something she finds quite odd.
We are off to the beach this weekend, a much awaited (and much needed!) getaway from the city and the busy, frenetic pace of work, so we will be missing the market this weekend. We will try to hit a market out of town though, one that specializes in dried, salted, and smoked fish! C and I are looking forward to it, these types of local fish specialties being something we both enjoy (and we’ve been introducing little C to smoked fish too). I love how the market has become some kind of a fixture in our lives. As it should be in my humble opinion. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!