All things French!
It comes as no secret to those who know me that I love all things French! So, today I am going to share three “French treats” that give me beaucoup de soul-joy!
This summer while visiting friends in France, I had a ham and cheese sandwich that I am still dreaming about! My friend Guinevere, the creator of Little Gourmand here in Nashville, helped me recreate this Parisian classic, le Croque Monsieur! I serve these up at my house for Sunday lunch with either a simple green salad or my creamy tomato soup! If you are feeling especially bold, top your sandwich with a fried egg and you’ve got the glory of a Croque Madame! With or without the béchamel, these refined ham and cheese sandwiches are quick and delicious!
Melt butter in a small sauce pan on low heat. Add your flour, pinch of salt and nutmeg and remove from heat and whisk. Return to heat and gradually pour in your milk, whisking until it thickens. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool. To assemble sandwiches, spread some of the béchamel on the bread slices, top with ham and shredded cheese. Spread the rest of the béchamel on the top of sandwiches and then sprinkle remaining cheese. Place the Croque Monsieurs on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Top with a fried egg and savor a Croque Madame. Bon Appetit!
When I lived in Paris a highlight was walking around the corner to my local boulangerie for the perfect buttery croissant and cafe au lait! Fast forward fifteen years later and I’m re-living my French dreams on Saturday mornings at Little Gourmand, “Paris in the center of Green Hills!” Not only do I adore Guinevere, the owner, but her homemade croissants and pain au chocolate’s will have you saying many ooh la la la’s! The croissants are made from French dough and are available every Saturday morning at 9am! As only the French know how to do, she stacks them perfectly in a rattan basket at the front door for you to grab one, two… or eight if you are a Mason! Take her up on the offer for an expresso, cafe au lait or Kusmi Detox tea and your day is set!