May 13, 2013

Brunch Wish List

I've hit the 4:00 p.m. lull in the office. All I can think about is if I had a magic genie to grant me wishes, one would most definitely be a home-cooked brunch to enjoy in bed. What would be made, you ask? A plethora of dishes come to mind, but one really stands out for its ultimate indulgence: Croque Madame. Runny eggs, creamy cheese sauce, bread, some pork product... It all adds up to diner decadence. Well what if each element of this French bistro classic were elevated to an even more comforting level? Perhaps this...

1. Jamón Ibérico (cured Spanish ham; more refined than prosciutto, more earthy than Serrano) More info

2. Waffled French toast (like this one found here; courtesy

3. Cheese Béchamel
1 1/2 C whole milk (organic preferred)
1 Tbs AP flour
1 Tbs unsalted butter
6 oz. Cave-aged Gruyere
fresh grated nutmeg
pinch white pepper
sea salt to taste

Bring milk to a simmer in small saucepan. In a separate saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk quickly then slowly add milk until butter/flour incorporated  Stir constantly over medium heat until comes up to simmer. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, nutmeg, pepper, salt until smooth and creamy. 

4. Slow-poached organic cage-free eggs Read this first!

Bring large pot of water to exactly 140˚F. Carefully add eggs in their shells and let cook for about 40-45 minutes. Set aside until ready to assemble croque madame.

Put it all together...
5. Preheat oven broiler. Assemble on oven safe dish, sandwich the Spanish ham between the waffled french toast and ladle béchamel overtop. Broil in oven for a couple minutes until sauce slightly browns.
6. Gently peel shell off egg and place on browned sauce.
7. Garnish with thyme and garlic roasted cherry tomatoes.
8. Serve immediately.
**Appropriately paired with mimosas!

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