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2/26/2017 8:32 am  #1


A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab

A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab


https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/03/01/dining/01KITCH-SUB/01KITCH-SUB-master768.jpg


Every Francophile has eaten a croque-monsieur, which is essentially a hot ham and cheese sandwich, the top spread with a layer of béchamel sauce and grated cheese, then grilled until golden and bubbly. You can get one in any café, where it is eaten from a little plate, either at a small table or standing at the bar, using a knife and fork.

A croque-madame is exactly the same, with a fried egg on top. Why is it madame when it has an egg? No one knows. I decided to make a version with crab meat, which I thought would be novel, until I discovered it had already been invented, many times over. It seems there already exists the crab toastie, an American open-face snack made with English muffins. And crab toasties are well known in the British Isles as well. I pushed mine in a slightly creole direction, adding cayenne, tarragon and chives.



INGREDIENTS
 Unsalted butter
6 slices rustic country bread, about 1/2 inch thick, or day-old white bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, heated
 Salt and pepper
 Pinch of grated nutmeg
¼ cup crème fraîche
1 pound cooked crab meat
1 teaspoon paprika
 Pinch of cayenne
 Pinch of smoked Spanish pimentón dulce or chipotle powder
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons snipped chives, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
6 thin slices ham or prosciutto cotto
4 ounces grated white Cheddar or Gruyère cheese, about 1 1/2 cups
6 small eggs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish

PREPARATION

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly butter both sides of each bread slice. Add slices to pan and let sizzle until crisp and golden on each side, working in batches if necessary. Place browned slices in one layer on a baking sheet and set aside.

Make the béchamel: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1 minute without coloring. Whisk in milk, then turn heat to low and continue cooking. Adjust heat to keep sauce at a bare simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until smooth and medium-thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir in crème fraîche. Set aside and keep warm.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine crab meat, paprika, cayenne, pimentón, lemon zest and mustard. Add 1/2 cup warm béchamel sauce, the chives and the tarragon and stir well to combine.

Put one thin slice of ham on each slice of grilled bread. Mound crab mixture onto each toast, dividing evenly among the 6 slices.

Spoon remaining béchamel sauce evenly over crab mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Place baking sheet on top shelf in oven and bake for 10 minutes, until bubbling and well browned.

Meanwhile, cook eggs sunny side up in a small amount of melted butter. To serve, top each crab toast with an egg. Sprinkle with chives and parsley.

Last edited by Goose (2/26/2017 8:33 am)


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

2/26/2017 9:38 pm  #2


Re: A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab

Sans ham that would be a wonderful treat for Orthodox "Cheesefare week", the final week before Lent when meat has been forsaken but eggs, milk, and cheese are still permitted.

Alas, today was Cheesefare (Forgiveness) Sunday and now the intense Fast has begun


Life is an Orthros.
 

3/12/2017 6:46 pm  #3


Re: A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab

Good food for a blizzard....

http://del.h-cdn.co/assets/15/27/980x638/gallery-1435761337-20150624-delish-hot-dogs-0420.gif


 “We hold these truths to be self-evident,”  former vice president Biden said during a campaign event in Texas on Monday. "All men and women created by — you know, you know, the thing.”

 
 

3/12/2017 7:19 pm  #4


Re: A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab

Tarnation wrote:

Sans ham that would be a wonderful treat for Orthodox "Cheesefare week", the final week before Lent when meat has been forsaken but eggs, milk, and cheese are still permitted.

Alas, today was Cheesefare (Forgiveness) Sunday and now the intense Fast has begun

You should try Rhode Island Clam Chowder, which has a clear broth rather than milk in it.
Of course you wold have to omit the bacon.


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
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3/12/2017 8:11 pm  #5


Re: A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab

Please post a recipe....I have a can of clams at the ready!


Life is an Orthros.
 

3/13/2017 4:15 am  #6


Re: A Croque-Madame Dressed Up With Crab

Tarnation wrote:

Please post a recipe....I have a can of clams at the ready!

Here it is. I'm thinking that you can substitute olive oil for the butter.
Replacing the bacon puts me in a quandary. I suppose you could use vegan bacon, but I have never tried the product, so I cannot recommend it. You need to replace two things, the bacon fat, and the smokiness. You can just add a touch more olive oil to replace the fat. To replace the smokiness you might consider a little chipotle chili in adobo sauce. (Cans in your grocery store in the Mexican food isle.) Chipotles add a smokey quality. However, they do add heat as well, and I would be concerned that too much would mask the taste of your clams, so go easy.

You could also compensate by doubling down on the "Clammyness" by adding some clam juice, which is also readily available at the grocers.

Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Clear clam chowder originated along the southern coast of Rhode Island, where it is a local delicacy much to be preferred over the creamier version of Boston to the north and the (to them) criminally tomato-hued style served in Manhattan to the south and west. Eating it recalls the feeling of pulling into Block Island after a long day at sea, scented with salt spray, and sliding into a clean bunk to sleep.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/08/10/magazine/10eat3/10eat3-articleLarge.jpg



INGREDIENTS

24 medium-size quahog clams, usually rated ‘‘top neck’’ or ‘‘cherrystone,’’ rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ pound slab bacon or salt pork, diced
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 large ribs celery, cleaned and diced
12 red bliss potatoes, cubed
½ cup dry white wine
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
 Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley.

PREPARATION

Put the clams in a large, heavy Dutch oven, add about 4 cups water, then set over medium-high heat. Cover, and cook until clams have opened, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. (Clams that fail to open after 15 to 20 minutes should be discarded.) Strain clam broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or doubled-up paper towels, and set aside. Remove clams from shells, and set those aside as well.

Rinse out the pot, and return it to the stove. Add butter, and turn heat to medium-low. Add the bacon or salt pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pork has started to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove pork from fat, and set aside.

Add onions and celery to the fat, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes and wine, and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated and the potatoes have just started to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of clam broth, reserving the rest for another use. Add the thyme and the bay leaf.

Partly cover the pot, and simmer gently until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the clams into bits that are about the size of the bacon dice.

When the potatoes are tender, stir in the chopped clams and reserved bacon. Add black pepper to taste. Let the chowder come just to a simmer, and remove from heat. Fish out the thyme and bay leaf, and discard.

The chowder should be allowed to sit for a while to cure. Reheat it before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers.

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016718-rhode-island-clam-chowder

Last edited by Goose (3/13/2017 4:17 am)


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
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