Thursday, December 20, 2007

Portuguese French Toast or Brazilian Rabanadas

Many countries celebrate a white Christmas but, since it is Summer time in Brazil, many places have Christmas lights on palm trees. However, we also exchange gifts, decorate our houses with lights, put up trees and have large family reunions. Turkey and roasted pork are traditional dishes during Christmas supper. 

Another Christmas tradition here is the Portuguese French toast or "rabanadas" that were brought from Portugal and consist of french bread, milk, eggs, and cinnamon sugar on top. It is a part of my husband's family memories on Christmas day. My father-in-law usually orders the bread in advance and keeps this tradition going. It is like a magic moment, an opportunity to spend time with the family members during breakfast or the afternoon snack. As this year we are celebrating Christmas with my parents, I already asked my mother-in-law to make "rabanadas" on New Year's day!

Rabanadas - From the kitchen of my mother-in-law

About 20 1-inch-thick (2.5 cm) slices french bread
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (reserve other half for topping)
2 cups of milk
3 eggs, separated

About 3 tablespoons oil for pan-frying
Sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle, condensed milk or syrup to pour over fried bread

1) If possible, buy the bread the day before, slice it and let it sit overnight in an open container.

2) Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add egg yolks and beat again until thick.

3) In a medium bowl, combine half can of condensed milk with the milk.

4) Soak lightly each slice of bread with the dissolved condensed milk, drain the excess and coat the slice with eggs whites.

5) Fry in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Place on paper towel to drain and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, condensed milk, or syrup. Serve warm.

Does your family have any Christmas traditions?


Sandra said...

Ai que bom......I remember my greatgrandmother making these on christmas eve and we just devoured them. I make them for my family too now :)

Feliz Natal e um Ano Novo muito prospero.

Laurie Constantino said...

Cris, these look delicious. Are they pan fried (I assume yes since you only use 3T oil, but I wanted to double check.) Also, you say to save the rest of the sweetened condensed milk for a topping. Do you just pour this over the sliced bread? I can almost taste them!

Our Christmas traditions mostly have to do with cookies, although for breakfast we pretty much always have champagne with orange juice, and eggs benedict. For Christmas eve, we have a dinner that includes seven kinds of seafood accompanied by champagne. It's fun, but we don't always make it though all seven dishes!

teeth whitening said...

Thank you sharing your local Christmas traditions. I enjoy reading about how other cultures celebrate the holidays.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

That looks soooo good!
I'm in a remote location, and will by-pass the Christmas tradition of cookies and baked ham this year.
Here's wishing you and yours Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :D

Kristen said...

Oh yum! This looks like a great way to start the day.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Ooh, the condensed milk must make this extra thick and creamy. Yum!

Mansi Desai said...

it's never too late to be visited by a friend Cris!! wish you a fabulous 2008 too!! this french toast sounds delicious:)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This sounds so yummy! I love teh Brazilian penchant for using sweetend condensed milk. Sounds wonderful!

Archana said...

Lovely blog, great recipes. I like the Brazillian Rabanadas. Very interesting version of using a french bread. Condensed milk, cinnamon, eggs. Love it! Have to try this as well.

Great pictures as well

Property In Brazil said...

We came to Brazil the other year for our honeymoon and i tried these but could never remember the name of them. I just stumbled across your blog today! great recipe (by the way) i'm going to try and surprise my husband by cooking these for him at some point. thanks a lot!