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Posts Tagged ‘Barefoot Bloggers’

Better late than never, right?! This is my second recipe as part of the Barefoot Bloggers and Kathy of All Food Considered chose Croque Monsieur. This sandwich looked very interesting when I first glanced at the recipe. Who doesn’t like a good “grilled” cheese sandwich and this was definitely taking it up a notch. Although I should have made this a couple of weeks ago life got in the way but yesterday’s dreary afternoon seemed like the perfect time to make a sandwich that looked so yummy,warm, and comforting. I followed the recipe exactly except for not cutting off the top edge of the crust and adding a bit more ham and we really enjoyed the results. I think I would have liked a little more mustard as it really added to the depth of flavor. This was more time consuming than a normal grilled cheese but easy to prepare and a welcome change. Enjoy!

croque monsieur

Croque Monsieur by Ina Garten

Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups hot milk
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Pinch nutmeg
* 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
* Dijon mustard
* 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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I joined my first online blogging group. It is called the Barefoot Bloggers. They are dedicated to trying as many of the Barefoot Contessa’s aka Ina Garten’s wonderful recipes as possible. I love Ina so this seemed to be the perfect inaugural group for me. I was very excited about this first recipe for many reasons. First of all it didn’t contain any meat which is a necessity until Lent is over. It will also be my first time using puff pastry and who doesn’t like tomatoes, goat cheese, and fresh basil. The anticipation while cooking was very high and I must say that I was not disappointed in the least! My puff pastry did not rise as much as I expected but other than that these were incredible! They would be perfect on a cool summer evening.Anne of Anne Strawberry picked an awesome recipe. Give them a try.
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Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

* 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
* Good olive oil
* 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
* 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons dry white wine
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
* 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
* 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
* 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
* 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Directions

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

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