Bechamel Recipes

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Croque Madame Sandwich Recipe Recipe

Croque Madame Sandwich Recipe

08.26.09 by Jackie

My little munchkin loved the croque-monsieur and she asked for the same lunch the next day. I decided to make another version of the same sandwich: the famous croque-madame. The croque-madame is essentially a croque-monsieur topped with a sunny side up egg.  If you ever get confused about which sandwich is which, just remember that the "female" version is just like the "male" version, but with extra flavor .

I added ketchup and flat-leaf parsley to create the face of an angry clown to make the sandwich kid-friendly and more playful. In case you were curious, she loved it!

For those of you who are wondering if the croque-mademoiselle exists, it does! It's supposed to be more delicate like a diet version, with whole wheat bread.

* I want to give a special shout out to Cookie and OysterCulture, who mentioned that they also make croque-madame at home.


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Croque-Monsieur: A Perfect Back To School Lunch Recipe Recipe

In France, the croque-monsieur sandwich is as much a staple of school children's lunches as the PB&J is in America. I grew up with them, and they are still the ultimate comfort food for me. 

The girls are going back to school today and I wanted to share with them one of the fondest culinary memories of my childhood. When I was in middle school, I would come home early on Wednesdays. Since I didn't eat lunch at school, I would always make myself a croque-monsieur.

Croque-monsieur is super easy to make. All you need is a few ingredients such as sliced white bread, emmental cheese and ham (I used smoked turkey). To make it fancier, I bind all the ingredients together with a Mornay sauce, which is basically a béchamel with cheese. I use béchamel a lot; it's really just a white sauce made of flour, butter and milk.

 


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Canapes au Camembert (Camembert Tartlet Shells) Recipe

Canapés au camembert are the perfect palate teasers. They have a flaky, buttery shell and are covered with a camembert sauce mornay, which is béchamel and some cheese. The key to a good homogenous spread is a ripe, gooey, aged cheese. The addition of mustard and a hint of red chili pepper make it slightly piquant.

You can serve them as appetizers, as a first course accompanied with a salad or bake in a large tart pan and serve it as a main course for a light lunch.

Making this dish took me back to my time in Paris just before I got married. I was working non-stop, and after work, my boss would often take me for dinner to a brasserie. We would always get some amuse-gueules to start our meal. Amuse, in French, means entertainment in a playful, casual way, and gueule is slang for mouth. Those wonderful appetizers were a perfect way to whet the appetite before a nice meaty main course. Amuse-bouches, like the canapés au camembert I made today, are just a more sophisticated name for the fare I had so often in those brasseries.


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Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna

02.04.09 by Jackie

Lasagna are always a hit at home, especially during the winter. The layer of spinach and béchamel sauce make the dish very creamy and filling. 

It's suitable for both meat eaters and vegetarians. My little sister-in-law who's deathly allergic to nuts and eggs can also share this dish with all of us.

It's a great dish to make in advance as you can prepare it the day before and keep it in the refrigerator overnight.


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Le Mac and Cheese Recipe

Le Mac and Cheese

01.11.09 by Jackie

Yesterday, we had a healthy meal. I worked out for an hour and felt good. But today to hell with exercise! We haven't had macaroni & cheese since Thanksgiving and the kids were asking for it. And when I say kids, I mean my husband.

We always make mac and cheese from scratch, and after trying this recipe, you will too. Say goodbye to  those blue boxes of powdered synthetic "cheese" product.

To bring more flavor to an ordinary mac and cheese, I use an herb-infused butter. I picked oregano,  tarragon, dill and thyme. This is what I have left in my herb garden from this past season. You can mix  and match whatever other herbs or spices you want like basil, chives, marjoram or even garlic and chili.  Have fun and create your own unique flavor. 

For Mac & Cheese, use any kind of tube-shaped pasta so that it can be coated inside and out with all the  cheesy goodness. For this particular preparation, I used the typical elbow-shaped pasta.  


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