January 12, 2016

Grilled Cheese French Toast With Caramelized Peaches

Recipe: Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez

Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez shares a recipe from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook

My dad loved to cook. He made a mean version of his mother’s chicken soup, including the bird’s scaly feet when he could find them at the butcher. He made delicious chicken schnitzel and even deep fried chicken in the backyard. But this breakfast-lunch-sweet-savory hybrid stands out from the many delicious things he made when I was growing up. I have no idea how or why he started making it, but it is the most satisfying comfort food you can imagine. When peaches aren’t in season, apples are especially good in their place.


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 not-too-ripe peaches, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 (¾-inch) slices day-old challah, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peaches in as even a layer as possible and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Cook the peaches, flipping them once, until they’re browned on both sides, just a minute or so per side. Remove from the heat and drizzle the lemon juice over the top.
  2. In a large baking dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, cinnamon, and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Add the challah, making sure each slice gets evenly coated, and let it sit to fully absorb all of the mixture.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Put 4 slices of the soaked challah in a single layer on the skillet and cook until the undersides are just barely browned, about 1 minute. Carefully turn 2 of the slices over and divide ½ cup of the cheddar cheese between them. Lift the remaining 2 slices of challah and put on top of the cheese so the barely browned side touches the cheese. Press down on each sandwich with your spatula and then cover the pan (or tent the griddle with foil) and let the sandwiches cook until the undersides are very nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Uncover the pan, flip the sandwiches, and cook until the second side is well browned and the cheese is melted, just another minute. Transfer the sandwiches to a serving platter. Repeat the process with the remaining butter, soaked bread, and cheese.
  4. Top the sandwiches with the peaches and drizzle whatever liquid is left in the peach skillet on top of the sandwiches. Serve immediately while everything is warm.

Excerpted from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook. Copyright © Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, 2015. Principal photographs by Jennifer May © 2015. Additional photographs by Evan Sung © 2015.


Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. All rights reserved.