Croque Madam, the perfect Sunday breakfast. Bon Appetit!
A fried egg balanced on top of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich turns the old favourite from a monsieur to a madame.
2 thick slices of brioche
Slices of Gruyère, Emmental or Beaufort
2 slices of Parma ham
2 large free-range eggs
1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for frying
Few knobs of butter
1 Begin by assembling the sandwich. Lay a slice of brioche on a plate and cover with a layer of cheese. Fold the Parma ham on top, followed by another layer of cheese and the second brioche slice.
2 Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Crack one egg into a wide bowl and beat lightly with the Parmesan and some seasoning. Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in a medium ovenproof sauté pan over a moderate heat, then add a knob of butter.
3 Dip the sandwich into the beaten egg mix on both sides, giving the brioche enough time to absorb some of the mix. Once the butter starts to foam, swirl it about to coat the pan evenly, then lower in the sandwich. Toast the bread for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to the oven to warm through until the cheese starts to melt.
4 Meanwhile, grease another sauté pan with oil and place over the heat. Place an 8cm egg ring or cutter onto the pan. Slip a knob of butter into the ring and, once it starts to foam, crack in the second egg. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat until the egg white turns opaque.
5 Transfer the sandwich to a plate. Remove the ring from the fried egg and carefully lift it on top of the sandwich using a fish slice. Serve while hot.
I think that breakfast is probably my favourite meal. The 'full English' is a gourmet's delight. Crispy rashers of home-cured bacon,grilled tomato, eggs fried in the finest olive oil, freshly gathered field mushrooms sauted in a little unsalted butter, a couple of grilled bangers(sausages) and heaps of freshly buttered hot toast. Yummy.
One of the things we miss here on the boat is our old habit of breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning. Propped up on a pile of pillows, snuggled under the duvet and surrounded by a thick pile of Sunday newspapers. The cat purring contentedly at the foot of the bed and all is right with the world! It's a little more difficult on board although from time to time we still recreate the event. Everything has to be wedged a little more firmly in case of rogue waves, rather frequent here on the Rio at a weekend. Pillows secured so they don't disappear over the edge of the berth and often a deal of improvisation on the ingredients. Still the Tropical fruit salad is usually a winner and fills the gap left by the unavailability of fresh field mushrooms and English sausages.
But things are looking up on the Rio. I have found a source of bagels and English Muffins. made a fresh batch of strawberry jam and have learnt that the bacon in Belize is just like we get back in the UK. Sundays are looking promising!
I love this cartoon from todays edition of The Sunday Times, it just makes me smile.
I do not begin to really understand the structure of US politics, it sure does seem like they take a long time getting round to the main event. I am amazed that the voters can stick with the arguments for so long. Or is it that when the big Election finally arrives they are all bored rigid!