Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The food at the wedding was delicious. I bet the food outside the hotel grounds was spectacular too, but I wouldn't know, and I have guilt about it. In light of this, I have decided to try to make up for missing out on the local cuisine of the Cote D'Azur by making a couple of French classics here at home.

Croque Monsieur
(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa in Paris)
Serves 2

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1.5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
1 pinch kosher salt
1 bit of fresh ground pepper
1 bit of ground nutmeg
6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices white sandwich bread
Dijon mustard
4 ounces baked Virgina ham

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter over a low heat in a small pan, then add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the mix and continue to whisk until thick, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add salt, pepper, nutmeg, two handfuls of the Gruyere and all of the Parmesan.

Toast the bread for 3-4 minutes in the oven on a baking sheet. Brush half the bread with mustard, add a slice or two of ham to each and sprinkle with another two handfuls of the Gruyere. Put the sandwich together and slather with the melted cheese sauce, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 5 minutes, then put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.

Radishes with Herbed Butter
Serves 2-3

1 bunch of radishes with tops on, washed
sea salt
sliced and toasted baguette
1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced scallions
2 teaspoons minced dill
2 teaspoons minced parsley
1/2 of a lemon's worth of juice
1 pinch freshly ground pepper

Combine the butter, scallions, dill, parsley, lemon juice, 1 pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together. Scrape into a small serving dish or ramekin. Place the radishes on a bed of sea salt.

Serve! Enjoy with a good rose, some greens and a friend.

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