Thursday, February 26, 2015

#ComfortFoodFeast: Croque Monsieur and Madame

For this weeks #ComfortFoodFeast on FN Dish, we are making grilled cheese! Yes, a classic, comforting, and cheesy dish that everyone loves!


(My camera crapped the bed, so until I can take some real photos, here are some from the internet to illustrate - Photo credit: Food Network)

To add a cultural twist to this comforting classic, lets go to Paris, the city of love! Back in 1910, when Parisians were sipping there drinks at the local cafe, the Croque Monsieur appeared as a menu item! Okay, maybe it didn't happen quite like that, but the Croque Monsieur did make its first appearance in the early 1900's.

So what is this Croque Monsieur I speak of? I like to think of it as amazingly delicious, upscale twist to the grilled cheese.  It is served with ham, cheese (typically Gruyere) and bechamel sauce.  This sandwich is also considered to be open-faced since you melt cheese on top! Mmmmmmm!

Since Monsieur is Mister in French, the female variation of this sandwich is called the Croque Madame.  The difference with the Croque Madame is that it is usually served with a poached or fried egg on top. Holy yes!


(My camera crapped the bed, so until I can take some real photos, here are some from the internet to illustrate - Photo credit: Frenchalacarte Blog)

Ingredients:
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole milk
-Pinch of ground nutmeg
-4 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (optional)
-4 ounces sliced baked ham
-6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (roughly 2 healthy cups)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/4 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan (yes, more cheese)

Directions:
Preheat your broiler. 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and then add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the milk, and cook, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/4 cup Gruyere and/or Parmesan cheese and set aside. 


On a clean work surface, lay out your pieces of bread and top each half of bread with a slice of ham and sprinkle of Gruyere. Place another slice of bread on top and lightly brush each side of the sandwich with the melted butter.  Repeat with remaining slices. 

 
Transfer the sandwhiches to a skillet and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the bread starts to turn a golden brown.  Transfer the sandwhiches to a baking sheet and spoon the sauce and remaining cheese over the top.  Broil until the cheese melts and is bubbly - about 2 minutes.   


Serve hot and enjoy!


**To make this a Croque Monsier, follow all of the above steps.  Once you are done broiling your sandwhiches, set aside and prepare eggs.  Heat a skillet with a tablespoon of butter and crack two to four eggs into the skillet.  Cover the skillet and fry the eggs until the white are cooked but yolks are still a little runny (roughly 3 minutes).  You can also pouch your eggs. 


For more great grilled cheese recipes, visit the links below:
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Croque Monsieur Sandwiches
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Homemade Pizza Pockets
Food for 7 Stages of Life: 
Best Caramelized Mushroom and Pineapple Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Dishing With Divya: 
Egg and Mushroom Cheese Sandwich
The Cultural Dish: 
Croque Monsieur and Madame
Weelicious: 
Grilled Cheese Pickle Panini
Swing Eats: 
Mind-Blowing Grilled Cheese: Sriracha Ketchup, Kettle Potato Chips, Pickles, Sharp Cheddar (gluten-free)
Red or Green: 
Cheddar, Peppadew & Basil Panini
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Inside/Outside Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Avocado & Sundried Tomatoes
Taste with the Eyes: 
Grilled Halloumi Cheese Salad, Savory Meyer Lemon Whipped Cream
Creative Culinary: 
Inside Out Grilled Cheese with Tomato
The Mom 100: 
Fork in the Road: Great Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Daily*Dishin: 
Grilled Cheese Italian Style: Pepperoni and Parmesan Crust
FN Dish: 
6 Gooey Grilled Cheeses You Can't Live Without


Pin It

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Homemade Pasta and Top 3 Light and Easy Pasta Recipes

This week for the FN Dish #ComfortFoodFeast, we are going with a classic - Pasta!


Who doesn't love pasta? There are countless ways that you can make and enjoy pasta! And if you are watching the waistline, have any dietary restrictions, or just want different variations, there is a past for you! There are gluten free pastas, whole wheat pastas, and even quinoa pasta! Yes, quinoa pasta! I didn't believe it either until I saw it with my own eyes.


Today though, I am going to keep it traditional with some classic pasta dishes that are light and easy to make. Although you can just go out and buy pasta, I HIGHLY recommend that you make your own pasta at home at least once! It is so much easier than you may think, and it can be a fun activity with the family! So go get your hands dirty and enjoy some freshly made pasta!

Although you can just go out and buy pasta, I HIGHLY recommend that you make your own pasta at home at least once! It is so much easier than you may think, and it can be a fun activity with the family! So go get your hands dirty and enjoy some freshly made pasta!



Pasta alla Carbonara
This classic egg based pasta looks very fancy, but it is quite quick and easy to throw together! I use this one a lot when we are having friends over.



Shrimp fra Diavolo
This is a favorite of the hubs, and again, very quick to pull together.  It may seem complicated, but once you actually see the directions and how quickly it all pulls together, it will end up being a dinner staple! It also pairs well with a nice red wine, so it is an excellent date night meal.



Pasta Goo-Gootz
This is one of my all time favorites! This is a classic recipe from my Nonna that I ALWAYS make during the summer or when I am dreaming of summer! I cannot even begin to stress how easy and quick this meal is to throw together! We also do a CSA in the summer, so the dish is that much better with the fresh farm vegetables!


For more great pasta dishes, visit the sites below:
Feed Me Phoebe: Sesame Soba Noodle Salad with Cabbage Slaw
The Mom 100: 
Creamy Goat Cheese and Spinach Linguine
The Cultural Dish: 
Homemade Pasta and Top 3 Light and Easy Pasta Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: 
A Unique Pasta Made of Black Beans - Gluten-Free, Lower-Carb
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Ravioli with Asparagus, Green Pea Sauce & Sauteed Scallops
Red or Green: 
Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pecorino & black pepper)
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Spaghetti Limone
Dishin & Dishes: 
The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever
FN Dish: 
5 Back-Pocket Pastas That Always Have Your Back

Pin It