Torrija: NOT French Toast / Torrija: No French Toast

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

TORRIJAS! I KNOW. I know. It looks like French Toast. Yes, it’s made with bread, eggs, and milk. But, this is absolutely NOT French toast and I wish the BBC, among others, would stop providing recipes that are simply variations on French Toast all the while describing torrijas as Spanish French Toast. I swear to you, it’s not French Toast.

Torrijas are a traditional Semana Santa (Easter) specialty, best made with special “torrijas bread.” And, yes, there are eggs. And, yes, there is usually milk. There can also be — depending on who’s doing the cooking — lemon, cinnamon, sugar, olive oil, honey, wine, brandy… And, although the BBC says you shouldn’t soak the bread in the mixture for more than 10 minutes (give me strength), if you use the correct bread, you absolutely must soak it for more than 10 minutes. Two hours or more. Even overnight. Being the right bread, the crust stays firm. After you fry the bread, the inside will be just like custard.

I’ve shared our friend the Goddess Elena’s mother’s torrija recipe. Otherwise, enjoy your French Toast.

¡TORRIJAS! LO SÉ. Lo sé. Lo sé. Parece “French Toast” (que significa literalmente Tostada Francesa). Sí, está hecho con pan, huevos, y leche. Pero, absolutamente, esto no es French Toast, y me gustaría que la BBC, entre otros, dejara de ofrecer recetas que son simplemente variaciones de French Toast, todo el tiempo describiendo las torrijas como French Toast. Te lo juro, no es French Toast.

Las torrijas son una especialidad tradicional de Semana Santa, mejor hecha con un especial “pan torrijas”. Y, sí, hay huevos. Y, sí, generalmente hay leche. También puede haber, dependiendo de quién lo esté cocinando, limón, canela, azúcar, aceite de oliva, miel, vino, brandy … Y, aunque la BBC dice que no debes remojar el pan en la mezcla por más de 10 minutos (¡dame fuerza!), si usas el pan correcto, absolutamente debes remojarlo por más de 10 minutos. Dos horas o más. Incluso durante la noche. Siendo el pan correcto, la corteza se mantiene firme. Después de freír el pan, el interior será como flan.

He compartido la receta de torrija de la madre de nuestra amiga la Diosa Elena. De lo contrario, disfruta de tu French Toast.

THE GODDESS ELENA’S TORRIJAS.
LAS TORRIJAS DE LA DIOSA ELENA.

Oh, Mom! / ¡Oh, Mamá!

Una versión inglés está después de una versión español.

WHILE WALKING HOME from the orthodontist Tuesday, I came upon crowds of people, including a lot of children, on the streets near City Hall.

I thought, “Uf! School must be letting out.” But I realized it was already 7:30 in the evening.

As I continued, I saw that I had just missed an Easter Week procession. The band was dispersing, but the two statues were still there. Jesus appeared to be having a stand-off with Mother Mary. Maybe he had stayed out too late. As you can probably imagine, Mother won. She turned right and her son followed her home.

MIENTRAS CAMINABA A casa desde el ortodoncista el martes, me encontré con multitudes de personas, incluyendo una gran cantidad de niños, en las calles cercanas al Ayuntamiento.

Pensé, “¡Uf! La escuela debe estar dejando salir”. Pero me di cuenta de que ya eran las 7:30 de la tarde.

Mientras continuaba, vi que me había perdido una procesión de Semana Santa. La banda se estaba dispersando, pero las dos estatuas todavía estaban allí. Jesús parecía tener un enfrentamiento con la Madre María. Tal vez se había quedado fuera demasiado tarde. Como puedes imaginar, la Madre ganó. Giró a la derecha y su hijo la siguió a casa.

“HA. HA. BUSTED!!
¡”JA. JA. ARRESTADO”!

The Last Of The Torrijas / La Última De Las Torrijas


Friday morning, our neighbors stopped by to thank us again for the delicious torrijas made by San Geraldo. I thought I’d be kind and give them some more, but San Geraldo quickly said, “There are only two left.”

Without hesitation, (and very kindly) I told our neighbors, “You’re out of luck!”

San Geraldo made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and placed the last of the torrijas on our plates. The sandwich was good but I only had eyes for my last torrija.

El viernes por la mánana, nuestros vecinos se detuvieron a agradecer nuevamente por las deliciosas torrijas hechas por San Geraldo. Pensé que sería amable y les daría algo más, pero San Geraldo dijo, “¡Solo quedan dos!”

Inmediatamente, (y muy amablemente) le dije a nuestros vecinos, “Vosotros estáis fuera de suerte!”

Para almuerzo, San Geraldo hizo sándwiches de jamon y queso (fundido), y colocó las ultimas de las torrijas en nuestros platos. El sándwich era bueno, pero sólo tenía ojos para mi última torrija.

Today, San Geraldo went shopping. He came home with more special torrijas bread. (Torrijas can be made with “un-special” bread, but our friend The Goddess Elena says it’s better this way, and we always do whatever she says.)

Hoy, San Geraldo fue de compras. Llegó a casa con mas pan de molde (especial torrijas). (Torrijas se puede hacer con pan “no especial”, pero nuestra amiga La Diosa Elena dice que es mejor así, y siempre hacemos lo que ella dice.)

ANOTHER DOUBLE BATCH, BECAUSE SAN GERALDO DOESN’T DO ANYTHING IN HALVES.
OTRO LOTE DOBLE, PORQUE SAN GERALDO NO HACE NADA A LA MITAD.

Torrijas Tornado / Tornado De Torrijas

San Geraldo cooked up his first-ever traditional Spanish torrijas in honor of Holy Week. Well, not really in honor of Holy Week but because they’re so good! The Goddess Elena, our dear friend, hasn’t had time yet to make them this year and we got tired of waiting. So San Geraldo asked Elena for her recipe and then took matters into his own hands. San Geraldo’s torrijas are perfect! (But I already knew that.)

San Geraldo cocinó sus primeras torrijas españolas en honor de Semana Santa. Realmente no en honor de Semana Santa, pero porque son tan buenas! La Diosa Elena, nuestra querida amiga, todavía no ha tenido tiempo de hacerlas este año y nos cansamos de esperar. Así que San Geraldo le pidió a Elena su receta. ¡Las torrijas de San Geraldo son perfectas! (Pero ya lo sabía.)

ELENA’S MOTHER’S RECIPE.
LA RECETA DE LA MADRE DE ELENA.

THE KITCHEN AFTER TORNADO SAN GERALDO (THE OTHER SIDE WAS MUCH WORSE).
LA COCINA DESPUÉS DE TORNADO SAN GERALDO (EL OTRO LADO ERA MUCHO PEOR).
A SNACK BEFORE BREAKFAST.
UN APERITIVO ÁNTES DE DESAYUNO.

Oh My Sweet Torrijas!

I went for a 7.25km (4.5-mile) walk Wednesday to one end of the Paseo and back (it’s become my short walk). A healthy walk is part of my daily routine. But yesterday it was especially needed to burn off the lemon merengue pie Chef Robbie insisted we try with our morning coffee.

San Geraldo arrived home a few minutes after I did. “I bought us a treat!” he said.

I saw bakery wrapping and thought, “Oh, crap. So much for my walk.”

But then he unwrapped the paper. And I thought, “SO glad I took that walk.”

TORRIJAS!!! AN EASTER TRADITION.

The first time I had torrijas was during Semana Santa 2012 (Holy Week) in Sevilla. I bought them in a local bakery. They were good, but nothing to write home about — so I didn’t, and quickly forgot about them.

Last year, Elena made us some that were, as San Geraldo said, “to die for.” (Click here for Elena’s torrijas and a glimpse of the Easter Moose.)

This year’s bakery torrijas, smothered in honey, were sweet and delicious but nothing like Elena’s. And we still have Elena’s to look forward to (hint, hint).

Recipes
If you’re interested in making torrijas, just search “torrijas recipes” or “recetas torrijas” and you’ll find plenty of versions (and opinions). Last year, I explained:

Elena’s version consists of a thick slice of bread soaked in warm milk for an hour, and then dipped in egg batter and fried with olive oil before being sprinkled with cinnamon. The bread gets crusty on the outside and custard-like on the inside. Elena’s torrijas are out of this world.

The bread is often soaked overnight and wine can be used instead of milk. Traditional recipes call for the addition of honey, which The Goddess Elena doesn’t like. But we’re not complaining. (She doesn’t like raisins either, and calls them flies.)

In my opinion, if you only dip the bread in the batter, as some recipes suggest, instead of soaking it for an hour or more, the result is pretty much like American “French Toast.” The extended soaking changes the consistency of the bread to custard. So much better (again, in my opinion).