If you happen to be in Spain for Holy Week, you'll undoubtedly have the pleasure of having torrijas, a version of French toast with the addition of olive oil and probably the most famous Semana Santa recipe.
Like many other desserts, torrijas were invited in the 15th century by nuns. They prepared them during Holy Week in particular, since they thought the torrijas looked like little medallions of beef, and meat was forbidden to Catholics during that period.
Every region has their version– from the torrijas de leche (milk soaked torrijas) that are spiced with cinnamon and popular in Madrid, to the anis soaked version in nearby Chinchon and the honey-soaked from Andalusia. There are hundreds of torrijas recipes, all sweet and delicious.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan. Add half the sugar, the orange and lemon zests and the cinnamon stick.
- Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Remove from the heat before it comes to a boil and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Slice the bread into fairly thick slices of 1.5 to 2 cm. Soak each slice in the milk for 10-12 seconds.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a deep dish with the remaining sugar and a pinch of powdered cinnamon. Dip each milk-soaked bread slice into the beaten egg.
- Fry in hot oil over medium heat, turning with a large spatula half-way through. When both sides are well browned, remove from the pan and place on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Photo: ID 15729251 / Fernando Sanchez / MSCOMM
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