This is a guest post by The Editor
I woke up early as a blues singer this morning, with no intention to do anything special today. Reading the news provoked the usual despairing of humanity, until I saw the following tweet via Reeve the Baker.
Now that sounded delicious! Just the thing for lunch, I thought, so I slapped Davy until he got out of bed and convinced him we needed to go out to the shops.
We survived the horrors of shopping at Marks and Spencer, with their usual hordes of frightening ancient women jealously guarding about three queues each, just waiting to pounce on you.
After recovering with a generous glass of Hampshire’s other gin, Bombay Sapphire and Bitter Lemon, I was ready to cook. The good thing about being a confident cook is that you can think of any number of ways to make any recipe even better, just by reading it, or indeed whilst cooking it.
Forget the recipe above, I present Croque Madame Dani, the negus of eggy bread!
CROQUE MADAME DANI
SERVES TWO HUNGRY MEN
- 6 slices of Brioche Loaf
4 eggs (Kings Somborne, ideally)
12 slices M&S Smokehouse Cured Pork Belly (or 6 slices of good British ham)
125g Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, grated
100g Raclette Prestige, grated
2-3 tsp. Mustard of your choice
Hot Paprika and Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Salt and black pepper, more than you think is to your taste
Butter or olive oil for frying
Grate the cheese.
Mix the eggs together in a bowl, add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Don’t be afraid to be too generous, especially with the black pepper. The more, the better. Also mix in the hot paprika powder and cayenne pepper to taste. I used about half a teaspoon of the former and a teaspoon of the latter.
Dip the brioche slices in the egg mixture, letting it absorb as much egg as is practicable. Place the eggy slices of bread on greaseproof paper or on aluminium foil.
Heat some butter or olive oil in a large frying pan at medium heat. At the same time, also turn on your grill on high.
Place the slices of pork belly or ham on one half of the bread. Then sprinkle the grated Sparkenhoe Red Leicester on top of the ham.
Spread mustard on the other three slices of bread. I used about one teaspoon of Colman’s per slice. If you use other mustard, you probably want a touch more.
Place the mustard covered slices on the ham and cheese slices, mustard side down obviously, to make a sandwich.
Fry the sandwiches in the frying pan for about two minutes per side.
Transfer the sandwiches onto a baking tray lined with foil, and sprinkle the grated Raclette on top, then put under the hot grill until the Raclette is melted and bubbling (about 2-3 minutes)
Enjoy with a bloody strong Gin and Bitter Lemon, or two.
If you cannot find Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, for God’s sake don’t use another Red Leicester. A quality mature cheddar would be much better. If you cannot find Raclette, you really need to find a better cheese monger.