Don’t Get Fresh With Me

Stale challah is a versatile ingredient—without which the following recipes would fall as flat as another dough-bomb you know.

Stale Challah Croutons
1 Stale Challah

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Cut stale challah slices into cubes as big or small as your aesthetic ego, and arrange on baking sheet.Â
3. Allow 15 minutes of oven time, or until croutons are golden and crispy. Let cool.

Stale Challah French Toast

1 Stale Challah
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
Unsalted Butter

1. Slice stale challah so that each piece is just over a ½ inch thick. Easy on the thin slice, Iron Chef, you want your toast to have some depth to it.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until creamy. Pour 1 cup milk into a separate bowl.
3. Heat butter-greased skillet over low to medium.
4. As skillet warms, dip first challah slice in milk—one side, then the other, ensuring that the bread is rendered moist, not soggy. After giving your slice the milk treatment, dip both sides in egg batter.
5. Throw the clammy cut onto your warm skillet. Use a spatula to turn the piece over every few minutes, until both sides are golden. Watch that your bread doesn’t burn. The perfect toast exists in that Zen state between humidity and dehydration. In other words: Soft, but not squishy. Repeat as necessary.
6. Serve with breakfast-time sweets, like honey and cottage cheese, or maple syrup and um, ice cream. Or, choose a life of cavity prevention with toast-side servings of salads, sausages and creamy chèvres.

Breaded & Stuffed Stale Challah Cutlets
1 Stale Challah
1lb. Ground Turkey or Chicken
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Small Ground Onion
Challah Croutons

1. Crush stale challah croutons to crumb consistency.
2. Pour ½ cup milk in a wide mixing bowl. Immerse 2 or 3 stale challah slices in the milk—meat-tooths soak less bread, mild-on-meats soak more. Let slices steep until they reach “bread puree” status—wait-time will range, depending on the staleness of your bread. Pour off excess milk, if necessary. P.S. Kosher connoisseurs can substitute soymilk for cow juice.
3. Place ground meat in a separate mixing bowl. Pour 1 beat egg into said bowl, followed by the milk-soaked bread mush. Add ground onion, salt, and sugar as preferred.
4. Manhandle meat mixture thoroughly, until the ingredients have formed a merger and your hands are tired.
5. Heat skillet greased with olive oil over low to medium. (Don’t grease with butter; even cholesterol buffs agree that’s pulling a too-fatty on this number).
6. Pour 1/2 cup stale challah crumbs into a bowl. Fill another bowl with cold water. You’ll want to give your hands a cool dip before forming each patty.
7. Sculpt first cutlet out of raw-meat mixture, and bread it, patting each side evenly with stale challah crumbs. Throw onto warm skillet. Repeat as necessary, until the meat mixture is no more.
8. Turn the cutlets as they simmer on low, so that a thin, even crust forms on each meaty exterior.
9. Either continue in the vein of slow frying until the cutlets are cooked all the way through, or take it up a gourmet notch by pouring a light-colored alcohol-lite (beer, white wine, Lillet, champagne) over the cutlets. Next, add a splash of olive oil, a drop of boiled water and a dash of spices, like dried bay leaves. Cover immediately and sauté on low until cutlets are cooked through and your sauce is a goldmine of goopy.Â

For additional recipes that involve stale challah, check out the Winter 2008 edition of Heeb Magazine.

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