Anyone that knows anything about French cooking knows that it can range from the ridiculously complex and sophisticated to the absurdly simple and rustic. It's what I love about French food. It's also what I hate about it. Those same anyones that know anything about French food also know that the complex simplistic nature of French cooking is what elevates the humble ham and cheese sandwich to the out of worldly goodness that is the croque-monsieur and the croque-madame. I don't know the history of these sandwiches, but what I do know is that some evil genius thought to add dijon mustard, copious amounts of melted butter with a thick layer of a gruyere cheese saturated béchamele on the outside of a black forest ham sandwich, plus or minus a fried egg. What I also know is that when I came home after pole class and errands Wednesday evening, I didn't have gruyere cheese, black forest ham, or the patience to make a béchamele sauce. BUT I did have applewood smoked bacon, shredded extra sharp cheddar, and dijon mustard. I think you know where I went with this. A new sandwich was born...
3 slices thick cut, applewood smoked bacon
1 egg, fried
2 slices whole wheat bread
3 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 oz rendered bacon fat (bacon grease, yeah son!)
Handful of fresh spinach and arugula
Fresh ground black pepper
On a heavy baking sheet, bake bacon in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. While bacon is in the oven, toast slices of bread until a light golden brown. Spread mustard on one slice of bread, and set aside. Place a heavy (or nonstick) skillet on medium-high heat, add bacon fat and a healthy dose of black pepper. Add unbeaten egg to skillet, sprinkle the top with black pepper, and fry for about 2-3 minutes, until egg white is firm. Slide the egg around in pan, flip and fry it yolk side down for 15 seconds to 1 minute (depending on desired level of yolk doneness). When done, remove from pan, and set aside. Assemble sandwich by adding greens to mustard slathered slice of bread, add cooked bacon slices, and top with second slice of bread. Transfer sandwich to the same baking sheet on which bacon was cooked directly onto the leftover bacon fat. Top sandwich with shredded cheddar, and place into a 400 degree oven for about 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with fried egg, and serve immediately.
I don't think I have to tell you about how awesome this meal was, but I'm going to. It was slap the poodle good. That's right. Whilst eating this sandwich, I looked at my precious Kona, and wanted to slap him in his cute little face. Ok, that's not true, but you get my drift.
Oh and there's more! Thanks to a dear friend who is home from Japan for the holiday season, and insisted on meeting up for drinks on a weekday, I have a large can of pineapple juice in my fridge. This is an occurrence rarer than Halley's Comet, seeing as how I only keep water, coffee, or booze in my apartment. So I made a potent potable to accompany my profanely good sandwich, and this time I named it.
|I can't believe my basil plant has managed to survive for over 2 months!|
1 1/2 parts bourbon
2 parts pineapple juice
4 leaves fresh basil slightly crushed
Pour over ice, stir, don't shake
You're welcome :)