Today we’re sharing with you a breakfast recipe my mom used to make when I lived in the Azores, Portugal. The title “breakfast of champions” might be a little misleading :-). Keep reading. You’ll figure out why.
I haven’t had these “fatias fritas” (translation: fried slices) in years. I’m not sure what it was, but I had a huge craving for them this week.
I called my mom and got a quick list of ingredients and learned her method of frying them up. I say “her” method because I’ve tried a few different versions of this. Most of them were delicious, but I wanted our recipe to take me back to my youth… “like mom used to make”.
A lot like french toast.
The preparation is a lot like french toast, you dunk some bread slices in a mixture of eggs and milk and then fry them. As they come out, you dab them in another mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Sounds amazing right? They are!
These “fatias douradas” or fatias fritas as my mom called them were perfect for two reasons. The first and most important was that they were absolutely delicious!
The second was that it reduced waste. Old bread found a new lease on life… in my belly.
My parents weren’t loaded, so they paid extra attention to using up all the groceries they purchased and all the food they grew.
My mom would usually prepare this dish with leftover bread. Day-old bread is actually better for this recipe.
With sausages? Really?
Okay, so for folks who have never had this meal, it’s about to sound weird 🙂 My mom would usually serve this with a side of homemade linguiça, a traditional type of sausage, typically made in the Azores islands.
It just keeps getting healthier, right? Oh yeah… the sausage was also fried.
Obviously, you shouldn’t eat this meal on a regular basis. It wouldn’t be healthy. But if you normally behave with your eating habits, consider fatias douradas an occasional calorie splurge.
Change up the usual pancakes, french toast or waffles. Give this recipe a try. Smile and feel no guilt…and always eat well, friends!
Portuguese style french toast (fatias douradas)
- 2 cups vegetable oil. See notes below.
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 10 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk (2% fat)
- 310 g (11 oz) bread slices (roughly 3/4 inches or 2 cm thick). See notes below.
- Linguiça or chouriço, a traditional type of Portuguese sausage (optional). See notes below.
- Heat the oil in a wide pan to roughly 360 ºF.
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- In a wide bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and combine with a whisk.
- Dunk 3 or 4 slices of bread in the egg. Make sure each slice soaks in a bit of the eggs mixture. Treat it as a full dunk, not just a quick dip.
- Carefully place the soaked slices in the hot oil.
- Fry the the slices in the oil for 3 or so minutes or until the bottom starts to turn a light golden colour. Lift with tongs to check.
- Turn the slices over and continue to fry until the other side turns a light golden colour.
- Place the finished slices on a paper towel-lined serving dish and immediately sprinkle both sides with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. This needs to be done right away, while the slices are still hot, in order to stick.
- Repeat the last 5 steps until the bread is all used up.
- Serve with a side of fried Portuguese sausage for a truly traditional Azorean meal Enjoy!
- We used 2 cups of vegetable oil. This may vary depending on the size of your pan. The oil should cover roughly 1/2 of the base of the bread slices. The oil shouldn't cover the slices.
- My mom used to use a loaf of bread and cut that into slices. She says she now uses smaller slices cut from Portuguese kaiser buns (papas secos). I used very large Portuguese kaiser buns (from our local bakery) for the slices you see in the picture. Feel free to use any size of bread you like. The thickness of the slice should stay around the same size as our instructions state.
- If you're going to serve the dish with Portuguese sausage, you can fry the sausage in the same oil, once you're done frying the slices. This reduces the mess and amount of oil used up.