We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.
A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.
Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard for spreading
4 slices ham
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)
OPTIONAL – 4 eggs
Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.
Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.
Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.
I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.
Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/
My sister-in-law made great baked beans! This recipe is very similar to hers but she skipped cooking the beans and used canned beans to cut the cooking time. So do I.
Boston Baked Beans
2 large cans baked beans
1 cup bacon chopped
1large onion chopped
1stalk celery chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Mix all Ingredients in a large casserole dish. Microwave 30 minutes on medium until bacon and celery are cooked.
Alternately bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked.
Best if cooled and refrigerated and then reheated just before dinner.
A truly summer salad! If you are not into making your own dressings, buy a similar raspberry balsamic one at the store. This salad both looks and tastes great!!
Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2
• 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
• 2 cups strawberries, sliced
• 1 avocado, diced
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette (* see below)
1. Assemble salad, toss in dressing and enjoy!
Option: Goat cheese or feta also work well in place of the blue cheese.
Option: I like to throw in some fresh peas when available in spring.
- Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1cup
• 1/2 cup raspberries fresh (or thawed frozen)
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Mash the raspberries and mix everything. 2. Pour over your favourite summer salad…
I know..comfort food in the spring??? This one is for our friends in Newfoundland where it is still snowing in May…ugh…
Classic Meatloaf & Sauce (modified from Food Network)
1/2 lb.each lean ground beef and pork
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, tomato paste, onions, green pepper, oats, egg, salt, and pepper. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Slather the glaze on top of the meat loaf and bake until the meat loaf is firm and cooked all the way through, about 1 hour. Serve hot.
From my childhood days I remember how great meatloaf is cold too!
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/aunt-peggys-meat-loaf-recipe.html?oc=linkback
The only recipe I ever knew placed the pork chops on top and they always were too well cooked! This method probably originated when there were all the concerns about pork not being well cooked. Fortunately, I came across three different recipes that changed this arrangement. These turned out very well and the liquid went all the way through to keep the chops moist.
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
14 oz. chicken broth
6 pork chops not too thin
6 cups thinly sliced potatoes (choose skins on or off)
1/2 cup sliced onions or more
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 cup sour cream
Set the oven to 350 degrees
Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter, adding salt and pepper, flour, Dijon mustard and thyme. Pour in the broth, cook and stir until it boils. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.
Brown chops in 1 Tablespoon of butter.
Grease cooking dish with butter.
Layer the chops in the bottom of the dish. Layer the potatoes and onions over the chops evenly.
Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
Uncover and continue to bake 1/2 hour more until starting to golden.
Angela’s Artichoke Dip
Scouring through my previously published recipes I noticed that I had never posted this recipe! Angela was a great friend of our family and especially my oldest daughter. She was a lot of fun to be around and certainly enjoyed her wine. Unfortunately she passed away a few years back way too soon! Her memory lives on in this recipe.
Combine the following –
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 package of Knorr vegetable soup mix
Blend in the following –
1 package fresh spinach chopped
1 – 19 oz. jar drained marinated artichoke hearts chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Spread mixture into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers.
Always great to have dinner with longtime friends. Made even better by this great tasting dish! Know you will enjoy it. Test out some of the optional ingredients at the end…
Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini a la Chuck
This recipe is great for pasta and shrimp. I think I might even try the sauce over cooked chicken, served with rice!
500 grams linguini pasta
2 T olive oil
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can artichoke hearts
½ cup white wine
4 T lemon juice
4 tsp. lemon zest
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ cup chicken stock
4 T fresh chopped parsley
Optionals: 1 T capers and/or ¼ cup diced red peppers and/or 1 T Dijon mustard and/or crushed red pepper flakes
1. Cook pasta in boiling water.
2. Sauté onion and garlic (and red pepper) in oil for about 5 minutes while pasta is cooking. Remove to a bowl.
3. Add shrimp to drippings and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, wine, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and cooked onion and garlic. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover for 4 minutes.
4. Thicken with cornstarch.
5. Toss with pasta and parsley. Serve immediately.
Everyone generally loves a great Caesar salad. Did you know it was invented by a chef in Tijuana, Mexico? If you don’t believe me, check out this Wikipedia article, where you will find the original recipe of Caesar Cardini – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_salad
Personally, it is hard to believe this since most Caesar salads in Mexico do not even come close to Caesar’s…except my former sister-in-law’s which I use always. Try it for the long weekend!
1 inch of anchovy paste (I know it isn’t part of the original recipe)
Crushed garlic (you be the judge)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon wine vinegar
1 egg yolk coddled (if your eggs are pasteurized I just use a yolk and do not coddle it)
3/4 cup Crisco oil (NOT extra virgen olive oil)
Mix all of the first 6 ingredients together with a whisk. Slowly add in the oil, whisking away as you go. Chill.
My Caesar salad includes: romaine lettuce leaves minus the ribs, fresh croutons, green onions, fresh bits of bacon and fresh mushrooms and, of course, LOTS of Parmesan cheese!!!!
Enjoy the holiday weekend!!!
Larry decided to explore several different Greek salad recipes one day – the result was his version below, which turned out to be very good!
Larry’s Greek Salad Recipe
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS red wine vinegar
6 TBS olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp course ground pepper
1 tsp Dijon grainy mustard
6 to 8 black / Kalamata olives finely chopped Note: 15 oz can, the remainder go in the salad.
Mix all ingredients well in a salad dressing mixer or glass jar with lid. Adjust quantities of ingredients to your individual taste. The small amount of sugar cuts the acidity and is pleasant on the tongue without being sweet tasting.
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
Cut into approx. one inch cubes: 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper (seeded, etc)
½ c coarsely chopped flat parsley leaves (if you like, you can also add some chopped mint leaves)
12 -16 Kalamata / black olives, pitted and halved
4 mini cucumbers (Costco), quartered lengthwise, and cut in 1” thick slices
200 gr feta cheese, cut into small ½” cubes ( in Mexico, I use Apetina brand found at Superama, in brine)
1 cup Plum tomatoes, halved ( more if you like)
Mix all the ingredients together and toss with some of the dressing. I like to add the feta cheese to the individual salad bowls. Guests can add more dressing if they like.
Another option: let guests add their own dressing and feta. If there is salad remaining, it will store better without the dressing added.