A quick Lunch fix: Smoked Ham, Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese

When I came home this past Tuesday during my lunch break, my whole family greeted with warmth but said: ” Cecile, can you please take us to the store, there is nothing to eat…” “Nothing to eat???, what do you mean, there is nothing to eat.”: I replied, and as I answered I went to see what i could find in my fridge to fix lunch.

I found a ton a things: cucumber, tomatoes, ham, cheese, and plenty more. So much so, in fact, that for lunch, we had cucumber salad, tomato caprese, quiche, lamb, grilled sausages and pasta.

Quiche is one of those wonderful things that you can fix quickly and use whatever you have in your fridge so long as you have cheese.

Ingredients: 1 pie crust ( pre-made), 5 eggs, 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream or milk ( if you use 2% milk, or non fat, you will need to add another egg because of the water content), 1 cup of shredded parmesan, 1 cup of sharp cheddar, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.

Place the pie crust in the pie mold, and prick the bottom with the fork. Cut the ham in small strips and disperse them all over the pie, do the same with both cheese.

In a bowl, crack all 5 eggs, add 1 1/2 cream ( or other milk product you are using), the salt, the pepper and mix well. Pour the mixture over the ham and cheese. Place in the oven and cook at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the quiche is no longer wobbly.

Et voila,

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Quick Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese.

What have you been eating this past few days? left-overs? I did not have that privilege because I did not host Thanksgiving. So all I had left-overs where desserts. Moreover, I kept my nieces and nephews for the week-end and I did not think they would have appreciated my much adored fish recipes;-) So what to do after a day of shopping? Yes, I did venture the crowd late afternoon yesterday and came home with a few things( i did not think that those deals were that great…)

Anyway, after having spent my day in the kitchen the day before and having starving teenagers, I needed to find a quick meal that would fill up their stomach…Macaroni and cheese.  It is a quick fix-up that pleases most of everybody…

Ingredients: 4 cups of macaroni, 4 cups of water, 3 tbsp of butter, 2 cup of milk, 3 tbsp of flour, 3 cups of sharp cheddar, 2 cup of Mexican Blend, 1 lb of smoked ham diced. salt and pepper.

Materials: Small saucepan, Large Round Mold, Octogonal Silpat.

1. You can cook pastas acccording to the package directions or you can cook using the round mold and octogonal silpat. In the large round mold, place 4 cups of pastas, 4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt. Microwave for 10 minutes. Stir and microwave for another 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prepare the sauce for the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add 3 tbsp of flour and mix well to make a roux. When the flour is turning brown, add the warm milk and stir at medium temperature until it comes to boil. Cook for another 5 minutes until it thickens. Add 2 cups of sharp cheddar, 2 cups of Mexican blend cheese, and mix well. Add more salt and pepper if you deem it necessary ( i did not). Then add the diced smoked ham and mix well.

Drain the pasta of excess water. Place the pastas back into the round mold and add the sauce with the ham. Mix well. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheddar on top of the pastas. Cook in a warm oven for 15-20 minutes at 375. Et voila!

NB: The best part of using the Demarle Cookware… it does not stick to the sides, so easy clean-ups and no more dishes to soak overnight;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Croissant Croque Monsieur

You must have noticed that I don’t cook many lunches. I am usually so busy that I will eat on the run. I will usually have whatever is left-overs; it can be soups, salads… But with teenagers in the house, it is imperative to have things in the fridge that will cater to their enormous appetite. My husband being from Germany, always order some cold cuts for fixing sandwiches so I have to think to buy bread or various sauces to fix those sandwiches. This week-end however, I could not stop from buying those yummy looking croissants they had standing in the entrance way of the store ( why do they do that?!?! tempt you all the time;-) So instead of eating them up, breakfast was already past.. I decided I would fix Croissant Croque Monsieur for their lunches.

A Croque Monsieur is a typical French sandwich. It usually a hot grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Though the most common is fixed with gruyere or emmenthal, you really can use any cheese that make you fancy. Some Croque Monsieur are served with Creme Bechamel on top, but I skip that step…

The word “Croque” means Crunchy, the word “Monsieur” means Mister. “The reason behind the combination of the two words is unclear—and is colloquially shortened to croque. While the origins of the croque-monsieur are unknown, there are many speculations on how it was first created. The croque-monsieur’s first recorded appearance on a Parisian café menu was in 1910. Its earliest mention in literature appears to be in volume two of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (À la recherche du temps perdu) (1918)” Wikipedia.

No matter what “Croque-Monsieur” really means,  it is  a fun and fancy alternative to the monotonous  wheat and salami sandwiches my kids eat most days;-)

I actually suggest that you should offer those for your guests if they are staying over your house over the week-end. They are so so easy to make and so yummy;-)

Ingredients for each person: 1 large croissant, 2 slices of Smoked Ham, 2-4 slices of sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice.

Slice the croissant in half in its length, then spread a bit of butter on one side of the croissant and a little bit of mustard (Dijon, or honey-mustard on the other half). Place the slices of meat on top of the bottom half of the croissant, then place the cheese and place the other half of the croissant on top. Cook in a Panini press, or place in a warm oven and cook for 10 minutes at 350. Et voila. Serve with a salad and more mustard.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!