This evening I made Croque Monsieur with Greens, as L frantically cleared all our junk out of the downstairs of the house. The day we thought would never come arrives tomorrow, the floors are being sanded, signalling the end of our renovations (minus the stupid bathroom redo of the redo). We are pretty grumpy and tired this weekend, although I have had plenty of fun with Baby A while L has been painting and painting and painting. Still, it’s all getting there, slowly but surely.
Anyway, the food. This is a glorified ham and cheese toastie, and I’m not entirely convinced that it was worth the extra effort, versus bunging some ham and cheese between bread into the toastie machine. First off, I made a quick bechamel sauce with butter and flour, whole milk, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. I’ve said before that one thing this book has taught me is that making a white sauce from scratch is not the big deal that I once thought. The sauce was spread on a couple of slices of bread per person, and the sandwich filled with ham. Next up, the outside of the sandwiches were spread with butter then dipped in a plate of grated cheese. I prodded and poked a bit to make the cheese stick, then fried the sandwiches in a warm griddle pan.
Meanwhile, the salad dressing of apricot jam, mustard, white wine vinegar and tarragon was mixed together and tossed over greens- in our case baby spinach. The whole lot was served on a plate- and the camera battery was dead. It took me forever to find the charger and potter around while the battery charged awhile. Dinner was ok, we had some hot and some cold, and it was pretty good, but I’m sure I’ll never go to the trouble of making it again. Essentially, we could have a similar taste sensation with a cheese and ham toastie out of the machine. The salad I wasn’t too keen on, but I think that’s because there was too much dressing to too little greens- my fault, not the recipe’s. Overall, if you fancy an upscale toastie, this is for you, but if you just fancy a toastie, skip all the extra pans and use a machine. And then you can put frozen peas in there too, which elevates any toastie from normal to superduper.
Tomorrow, we make this meal again but we are adding asparagus and swapping the Gruyere for Brie; Ham and Asparagus Tartines. Tomorrow we will be desperately hoping that the sanders varnish early enough that we can actually get upstairs to bed, in socks of course. Otherwise we’ll be camping on the kitchen floor.