Friday, 17 October 2014

Croque Ms muffins

Is it proof that I am an irredeemable domesticated wannabe yummy mummy? I am prepared to own up to watching cookery programmes on Iplayer while making hats and beading. It started with catching up with TGBBO but I have graduated onto Nigel Slater and Rachel Khoo. While indulging in this unsavoury pastime I came across this recipe, thanks to Ms Khoo. There is nothing like a good french croque so I was very tempted by the idea. The next day one of my fave cafes in Reading, Picnic, were serving their own version (but attributed to Ottolengi) having replaced the Gruyere with Camembert. Having completed the trial I can't say that the muffins replace the need for a conventional croque but you certainly get more generous filling to bread ratio, and you can get away Mother's Pride rather than mortgaging your soul for a decent pain Poilaine besides as left overs they are a very indulgent treat in a hurry.

B├ęchamel sauce
1 tbsp butter or rape seed oil (why I use oil when this still a cholesterol fiesta I am not sure)
1 tbsp plain flour
About 200ml milk
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
A large handful of cheese - I use the traditional Gruyere - about 75g (leaving some to sprinkle on top)

6 - 8 slices of white bread
6 - 8 small eggs
melted butter or oil

Base layer* - ham / spinach / red pepper

Make a cheese sauce: whisk the flour into the melted butter or oil and cook it over a medium heat (ensuring that you don't brown it). Let it cool just a few mins before you start adding a little milk. Keep adding milk little by little whisking away as you go. At some point add the nutmeg and mustard. You are aiming for a lovely smooth gloop! The invention of silicone whisks and non stick pans made life sooo much easier for me.

Next cut of the crusts from the bread and roll them flat before brushing them with the melted butter or oil. It is a little tricky getting them into the muffin tray but a small glass or jar will squish them flat against the sides

Add the bad layer* if you are using one, then add the eggs. If you add the eggs carefully you can see if the bread cup is getting too full and save the last bit of egg white.

Dollop on the cheese sauce, a couple of spoons on each then season and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for around 20 mins. The bigger the egg the more time you need, but check to make sure that they are done to your liking. You may want to take half out at just before 20 mins to eat immediately with lovely runny yokes and then leave the others in the oven for about 5 mins longer so that the yolks firm to a mild quiver and they will be perfect for a indulgent breakfast in a hurry.

I served mine with loads of salad. The score card read Hubster 4 (and a coronary warning), me 2 and the munchkins one each.

*base layer - traditionally a croque Monsieur has a layer of ham, but I try to minimise my meat consumption but red peppers would add crunch and spinach would make it more of a croque Signora (well a bit florentine) or you could do without.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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