Orange-Sesame Pain Perdu

Course : Cajun
Serves: 4
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8 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 slices bread slices -- French/Italian
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon orange rind strips -- (opt)
1 Cup confectioners sugar -- (opt)
1 jar preserves -- (opt)
1 Cup syrup -- (opt)

Preparation / Directions:

1. Thoroughly blend eggs, milk, grated orange rind, juice and vanilla. 2. Pour half the egg mixture into buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish. 3. Place bread slices in egg mixture (trim larger slices to fit or use smaller slices to fill in). 4. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread; cover dish and refrigerate several hours or overnight. 5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sesame seeds over soaked bread slices. 6. In large skillet over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter; cook 4 bread slices, seeded side down, until lightly browned, about 7 to 9 minutes. 7. Sprinkle with half the remaining sesame seeds; turn and continue cooking until lightly browned on other side. 8. Repeat with remaining toast. 9. If desired, garnish with orange rind strips and serve hot with confectioners' sugar, preserves or syrup (optional). NOTE: Pain Perdu, or lost bread, is an economical egg dish; use stale French bread that you may otherwise discard. Creoles relish this crisp-coated treat as a breakfast of brunch dish. It's often served n the Latin Quarter with a warm cup of cafe au lai

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