Croque Madame (Le Creuset Style)

Two croquet madames in a frying pan

The croque madame is a quintessential dish in the French culinary canon. Essentially a ham and cheese sandwich, this beauty is elevated by two generous layers of creamy béchamel, broiled until bubbly and golden, and topped with a perfectly fried egg. With a little help from our friends at Le Creuset, we’ve used both their new recipe book and their bakeware to put together a perfect brunch dish.

We’ve mentioned before in the blog that there are certain kitchen items that we can’t do without. We just can’t, we’d be lost and flailing. A microplane for fine grating, a silicone spatula for mixing cake batter: these critical objects are non-negotiable. Another, of course, is a good, heavy, enameled cast iron skillet. You can pre-heat it on the stove to get it to a high temperature for quick cooking, you can transfer it to an oven or broiler for a finishing step, and if you take care of it, it will last forever. Also, if you choose well, it can be beautiful enough to be the centerpiece on your table.

We’re always keen to find new ways of using our pan, and when Le Creuset asked us to make a recipe from their new cookbook (which you can buy from their site through the link) our decision wasn’t hard: we wanted to make our favorite Parisian lunch, croque madame.

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Easy Baked Brie With Honey And Pistachios

Easy Baked Brie with Honey and Pistachios

Offering maximum impact with minimal effort, a baked Brie turns a mild-mannered cheese into the superhero of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food. This version keeps things easy and delicious—it’s baked simply, then topped with pistachios and honey.

Serve it with crackers, sliced apples or good bread.

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Baked Brie en Croûte With Thyme and Fig Jam

Simple Baked Brie en Croûte with Thyme and Fig Jam

Baked Brie en Croûte With Thyme and Fig Jam; A warm, gooey wheel of brie or camembert cheese, topped with sweet fig jam and wrapped in golden brown, flaky puff pastry. 

Offering maximum impact with minimal effort, a baked Brie turns a mild-mannered cheese into the superhero of a gathering: a warm, gooey communal comfort food. This version wraps the cheese in a shell of flaky puff pastry, along with a sweet-tart layer of fig jam and fresh thyme leaves.

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Radishes Drizzled with Sesame Oil and Maldon Salt

Radishes

Sometimes the best approach to fresh produce is to treat it lightly in the kitchen, and let its natural flavor shine. This is how we love to eat radishes: a little sea salt, a little sesame oil, and that’s it.

This is a very simple take on the classic combination of radishes and butter. In this case the butter has been replaced with toasted sesame oil which has a wonderful rich nuttiness that pairs beautifully with the crisp radishes. Maldon Salt is my favorite flaky sea salt but you could use fleur de sel or whatever kind you prefer. It’s so simple but it’s incredibly delicious.

These beautiful pink and purple radishes came from the Common Ground Farm.
These beautiful pink and purple radishes came from our local Common Ground Farm.

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Kumquat-Ginger Smash

Kumquat-Ginger Smash

Once you’ve made the Kumquat- Ginger Syrup, whipping up this drink is about as simple as it gets. Muddle some of the kumquats and their syrup in a rocks glass, add rum and a few ice cubes and stir. Top with some club soda. Bam, done. 
Kumquat-Ginger Smash

Dark rum tends to have notes of vanilla and clove which is a lovely complement to the sweet/tart flavor of the kumquat syrup. The ginger in the syrup adds to the spiciness, making this a perfect drink in both warm and cold weather. It’s basically a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, with a twist. Yes, please. 

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