Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
OVERNIGHT CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST WITH MAPLE-BROWN SUGAR
1 pound loaf challah bread, sliced
6 large eggs
2 cups 1 percent milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Butter a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Place half the bread in a single layer in the baking pan.
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl; pour half the mixture over the bread.
3. Combine the brown sugar and maple syrup in a bowl. Drizzle about half over the bread in the baking dish. Top with another layer of bread; pour the remaining egg-milk mixture over the bread. Drizzle with the remaining maple-brown sugar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the casserole and bake 45 minutes, until the bread is golden and slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out relatively dry. Makes 8 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 297 calories, 13 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 8 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 251 mg sodium
SMOKED SALMON-AND-CREAM CHEESE FRITTATA
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 large eggs
1⁄4 cup 1 percent milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish.
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 medium red onion, chopped in 1⁄4-inch pieces (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 ounces Neufchâtel (light) cream cheese, cut or crumbled in bits
2 ounces smoked salmon, chopped in pea-sized pieces
1. Preheat the oven broiler. Brush the inside of a 9-inch cast iron (or other ovenproof) skillet with the oil.
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, dill and salt until the egg is uniform.
3. Heat the oiled skillet over medium; pour in the egg mixture. Stir gently as the egg begins to thicken. At the first signs of it beginning to set, sprinkle the onion, cream cheese and salmon evenly into the egg and allow it to cook until the bottom half of the egg is set, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook until the egg is fully set: a toothpick inserted in the center will have very little wet egg on it. Remove from the oven and allow to sit at least another 5 minutes.
4. To serve, the frittata may be inverted on a plate, or cut into wedges right from the skillet. Garnish with additional dill as desired. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 241 calories, 18 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 17 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 698 mg sodium
NO-BAKE ÉCLAIR CAKE
1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1⁄2 cups cold 1 percent milk
1 3⁄4 cups plus 1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
27 graham cracker squares (13 1⁄2 rectangles)
1 (6-ounce) bag chocolate chips (1 cup)
1. Whisk pudding mix and milk 2 minutes until thickened. In a separate bowl, whip 1 3⁄4 cups of the cream. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding.
2. Place 9 graham cracker squares in an evenly spaced layer on the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking dish. Spread with half the whipped pudding. Add a second layer of 9 graham cracker squares, spread with the remaining whipped pudding and top with the final 9 graham cracker squares. Refrigerate 3 hours.
3. Combine the chocolate chips and remaining 1⁄2 cup cream in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave 1 minute; stir and microwave 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over the top of the cake. Cut in squares to serve. Makes 9 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 445 calories, 5 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 31 g fat, 18 g saturated fat, 297 mg sodium