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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Fully Loaded Grilled Cheese: Meet Croque Madame



Note: What To Do With.... will return. I promise. I sat down to write this week's post and I couldn't quite do it justice. So I will save it for another day.

Sandwiches can be a marvellous thing. If you have lunch with me regularly, you know this already. I like them alot. They can be as simple as the peanut butter sandwiches I used to eat when I was a schoolgirl. Or with time permitting and a well-stocked fridge, they can be as flavourful and complex as you like. These days, I like thick juicy Ruebens, Cajun chicken on a toasted kaisers, BLTs, Montreal Smoked Meats, and Turkey Avocados... (and there is always a thick smear of spicy Dijon mustard.)

However, I woke up the other morning with a craving for something else... I've had France on the brain lately and started to think about a bistro we stumbled upon in the third arrondisement in Paris several years ago. Then I remembered my lunch there, a Croque Madame with a salad frisee.

The Croque Madame is a variation of it's slightly more famous spouse, le Croque Monsieur. The Croques are crispy, crunchy, savoury and oozy. Despite its fancy French name, the Croque at a basic level is a grilled sandwich. The Croque Monsieur is traditionally layered with deli-sliced ham and Emmenthal while his Madame boasts the addition of a fried or poached egg. The egg may be tucked in between the slices of bread or it may lay on top of the sandwich.

In this version, I have used smoked turkey and mozzarella and added sauteed mushrooms for a woodsy flavour. (Mozzarella has such a delicate flavour, the mushrooms bump up the flavour abit.) It's optional but I think it makes this sandwich a little special.

Breakfast Grilled Cheese



2 tbsp butter
5 button mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of bread (I like multi-grain these days)
1 egg

pinch of salt, pepper, chili flakes
1 1/2 tsp of chives (to taste)
50 grams of your favourite cheese (I like mozzarella, old cheddar or Gruyere)
50 grams of sliced turkey, ham, pastrami, etc. (or a couple slices of bacon)

1. Heat a panini maker.* Heat a pan over medium heat until butter melts and foamy. Saute mushrooms and season with chili flakes until they sweat down. Season with black pepper and salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Crack an egg into the hot pan and cook over easy.
3. Carefully lay one slice of bread on the panini press, add meat, sauteed mushrooms, chives, egg and cheese. Top with the second slice of bread and lay down the press on top of the sandwich.
4. Toast until you have nice grill marks on the bread and the cheese begins to melt.
5. Slice in half and serve.

*If you don't have a panini-maker, you can still make this sandwich. Heat a non-stick pan with about 1/2 tbsp of butter, once you have assembled the sandwich, place it on the heated pan to crisp up and turn golden. Carefully flip and brown on the other side. Serve immediately.

Since I started working for a British headquartered company, I have developed a strong affinity for "brown sauce" aka HP Sauce which has a strong presence in our staff cantina. Brown sauce is great with this sandwich.

1 comment:

lilyng said...

i love grilled cheese too

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