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/
I LOVE chicken pot pie! I dont make crusts…LOL. Nor can I buy the store-bought crusts here. With some leftover Costco roasted chicken, I yearned for pie. FYI…Bisquick isn’t available here either. Turning to my trusty Pinterest, I found this recipe. It was awesome!!!! I left out the mushrooms and added chopped red pepper… The diced veggies looked great so I added a photo of them too!
CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP
COOK TIME: 15 MINS
- 4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 4 ounces button or baby Bella mushrooms, diced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (I used a can of diced potatoes)
- 1 cup frozen corn (I used a small can )
- 1 cup frozen peas (I used a small can)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- oyster crackers (instead of the crust)
- Heat butter in large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted (or heat the olive oil until it is shimmering). Add onion, carrots, peppers and celery. Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the flour until it is completely combined, and saute for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Gradually add in the chicken stock and milk, stirring frequently. Stir in the chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until combined.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer (be careful not to bring it to a boil!), stirring occasionally so that the bottom of the soup does not stick to the pan. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering the soup for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
- Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve immediately, with crackers on top or on the side, if desired.
Who does not like shepherd’s pie? There are several variations out there. Sometimes it is called Cottage Pie. This one was a snap! The only tricky part was the roux, melting the butter and adding the flour. Make your life easier and use instant potatoes!
Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
- 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 12 oz. Frozen Peas and Carrots, thawed (Use a can of mixed peas and carrots)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, onion and garlic.
- Cook until browned and drain.
- In another skillet or pan, melt putter and add flour.
- Cook roux for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in Worcestershire and milk.
- Cook for 1 minute to thicken.
- Combine beef mixture, gravy and thawed vegetables.
- Place in baking dish.
- Top with mashed potatoes and place in oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. In the last few minutes sprinkle the cheese on the potatoes.
Still time to prepare this wonderful quiche for Easter morning, friends!Its not all that difficult, if you start with a refrigerated crust. Make sure to really clean the leeks well, as they often have dirt hidden inside!! Serve with some ice fresh strawberries…
Could also be good to use up that leftover ham after Easter!
Caramelized Leek, Parmesan and Ham Quiche
- 1 3/4 oz. Ham
- 1 Leek
- 1 Egg wash
- 2 Eggs,
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- 10 slices Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup Cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup Cream
- 1/3 cup milk
Prepare the caramelized leek. Clean the leek and peel off the top layer of skin. Cut in half length-ways then finely slice width ways. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and gently cook the leek for a few minutes until soft. Add the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Stir for another couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool.
Prick the bases of the pie shell with a fork about a dozen times evenly around the base. Place on a tray and into the oven for the time recommended on the package.
Remove the pie shell from the oven. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove, brush the shell with egg wash and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Remove the quiche from the oven. Evenly distribute the shaved ham and caramelized leek evenly over the crust. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. In a mixing bowl whisk together the 2 eggs, ⅓ cup of milk and ⅓ cup of cream. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a jug and carefully pour into the pie shell. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
My mom always instructed me to snap off the bottoms of the asparagus stalks when I was a kid as they were never tender and I still follow that rule. She always threw them away in the garbage! I have started to save the end pieces by putting them in a freezer bag for latter use…i.e. soup! This latest find for soup combines two strong flavours – asparagus and garlic. This recipe can be served cold by putting it in the fridge the next day OR serving hot. The former is more of a asparagus gazpacho. The latter is great with some shaved Parmesan cheese added after serving.
I would be interested in your opinion…
Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Soup
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
- 10 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup 2% milk
- cracked pepper and chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange asparagus and garlic on prepared baking sheet in one layer.
- Roast for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is soft, stirring once.
- Remove from oven and transfer asparagus and garlic to a blender. (I never blend it all as I like it a bit chunky).
- Add broth and milk.
- Blend until smooth. Depending on how large your blender is, you might have to do this part in batches.
- Transfer soup to a soup pot.
- Warm soup over medium-high heat, thinning with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired.
- Season with salt and pepper. Continue to taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
- Ladle into bowls.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
Costco strikes again! I bought the double package of tortellini when I really only needed one for a previous recipe. What to do? Find a recipe on Pinterest to use the one that was left. Eureka! Pinterest! Not only did it look yummy, it was…
Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Soup
Author: Karina – Cafe Delites Serves: 10
- 500 grams | 1 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground chicken, turkey or beef), browned*
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder (or chicken)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth — I use low sodium)
- ¼ cup cornstarch mixed and dissolved in ¼ cup water
- 3x 340 gram | 12-ounce cans full fat evaporated milk or half and half
- 1x 340 gram | 12 ounce packet three cheese tortellini (I used one of Costco’s, remember)
- 5 cups fresh baby spinach (whatever amount works for you)
- 1 cup milk
- Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, beef bouillon powder, salt, and broth in a 6-quart / liter slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.
- Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon; discard. Stir in the cornstarch mixture with the evaporated milk (or half and half or cream). Add the tortellini and mix well. Cover again and cook on HIGH heat setting for a further 45 minutes until the soup has thickened, and the tortellini is soft and cooked through.
- Add in the spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid. Cover again for a further 5-10 minutes until the leaves have wilted.
- Pour in milk in ⅓ cup increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 cup); taste test and season with extra salt ONLY if needed, and pepper to suit your tastes.
- Serve with crusty warmed bread
Been back in Canada and still too early for rhubarb, but fortunately we have been able to find it here for the first time, as I stated in the previous blog. If you thought the pie sounded great you should definitely keep this in mind when rhubarb is in season up north. Of course you need an ice cream machine which our friends Kathie, Holly, Michelle and Dez had previously given to Larry several years ago for his birthday…lucky guy. It is indeed awesome and definitely a flavour for Ben and Jerry to consider!!! Ready, set, go!
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE ICE CREAM Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
For the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base you will need an ice cream machine, sorry…
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream or 1 box of Media Crema (Mexico)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 of your crumbled pie crust (homemade) but you can also just bake a pre-made crust and crumble that. Either way, before baking, brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.)
First, roast the strawberries. To do so, combine strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar in an 8-inch glass dish (do not spray or oil the glass). Roast at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Cool slightly, then puree the berries in a blender. Measure 1/2 cup of the puree and set the rest aside to top the ice cream or for another use. Our preference is not to puree as we like chunky!
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons milk to form a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt together. Set aside. Put the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large, heavy bottomed pot (like a stock pot). Bring to a boil and boil for exactly four minutes (I set my phone’s timer to make sure it was accurate). It will boil and foam like crazy.
After four minutes, take the pot off the heat and add the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil for one minute, take off the heat again. Add the cream cheese to the boiled milk and whisk any clumps out.
Submerge the pan and its contents in an ice bath. If you’re making the ice cream the same day, just make sure the base is very cold before adding it to the machine. Add the base to your frozen ice cream barrel and spin for 15 minutes. The base should be frozen, a little more liquid than soft serve.
At this point, pour in the strawberry puree* and let it mix in completely, until the ice cream is a pretty pink color. Add half of the pie crust crumbles and swirl until incorporated. From here you can assemble the rest of the ice cream.
For the Rhubarb Compote Adapted from Epicurious
- 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Grated ginger (optional to taste)
Combine rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the rhubarb is syrupy (the sugar will liquefy over the heat and the rhubarb will break down). Strain through a sieve and chill until you are ready to assemble the ice cream. (You don’t want it too thick)
To Assemble the Ice Cream
Line a bread pan with parchment (or wax) paper. OR use a silicone loaf pan and skip the parchment/wax paper. Drizzle some rhubarb compote on the bottom, then layer with 1/3 of the Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Base. Sprinkle with pie crust crumbles and drizzle with more compote. Continue layering, ending with a layer of compote and pie crumbles. Drag a knife through the compote to create a marbling effect.
Press some parchment or wax paper onto the ice cream’s surface and freeze for at least four hours. Before serving, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Serve hearty scoops atop (totally optional) mini strawberry rhubarb pies and enjoy! Makes 1 quart.