Croque Monsieur Bake

The first dinner I actually managed to get on the table since giving birth to Evangeline comes courtesy of Nigellla Lawson’s fabulous cookbook Nigella Express. We’ve come a long way since those first few days with E, when we survived on plates of salami, cheese and apples, eaten haphazardly, whenever time allowed – we manage a fairly well-balanced combination of ordering food in and cooking, but for the most part it is S who accomplishes the actual cooking and cleaning up while I handle nursing and bedtime.

Now, though, a mere seven weeks later, E can be counted on reliably for two things: a pretty serious morning nap and a hatred deep and true for tummy time.  The rest of her day can vary greatly but a solid nap after her first feed of the day is, currently, a fact of her existence and woe is the person who interrupts it.  I use this time to catch up on email, read blogs, pick up the house and, two days ago, begin preparing meals that  can be made in the morning and popped in the oven hours later.  Currently, I am working my way through the recipes in Lawson’s cookbook that can be prepared ahead of time and the first recipe I tried was a tremendous hit in our household.  I can’t recommend highly enough, for ease of preparation and deliciousness, The Croque Monsieur Bake. S. had three helpings – a rarity for him.

Ingredients:

6 slices ready-sliced multigrain brown bread

1/3 cup dijon mustard

4 oz Gruyere cheese (note: I used cheddar)

3 slices ham

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons grated cheddar

good sprinkling of worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1. Spread the mustard on the bread slices and make sandwiches with the fine slices of cheese and ham.  Put each slice of cheese against the mustardy bread, and the ham between them.  Make the sandwich and cut each one in half, making two triangles.

2. Squish the sandwiches into a baking dish approximately 1 1/2 by 8 1/4 inches and 2 1/4 inches deep.

3. Beat together eggs, salt and milk and then pour this over the sandwiches tightly packed in the dish.

4. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

5. Next morning, preheat the oven to 400 F and take the dish out of the fridge, removing the plastic wrap.

6. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and Worcestershire sauce and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

*This recipe is considered a brunch recipe but I found it made a perfectly acceptable and delicious dinner!

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11 Responses to Croque Monsieur Bake

  1. smithereens says:

    Wow, kudos for being so organized! And many thanks to E for letting her mother blog on mornings! I’ll definitely try, it looks yummy (makes me think of welsh rarebit)

  2. Amy says:

    Mmm, sounds delicious.

    Tell E she’s not alone; I don’t much care for tummy time, either.

  3. Cam says:

    This sounds great to me – and I never eat ham! Good for you for being so organized with a newborn in the house!

  4. Andi says:

    Sounds amazing!!!!!!!! I’ll definitely try this soon . . gruyere makes everything better.

  5. litlove says:

    Oh the bliss of a dependable nap! Sometimes, you’re allowed to just hang out and do nothing, you know, if you need to. But preparing delicious food is always a plus, too. You do sound very organised and calm – most impressive! Take great care of yourself.

  6. Kristi says:

    Sounds fabulous! Don’t forget to read or relax a little during naptime, too!

  7. Emily Barton says:

    Sounds delicious! I’ll have to try it (after Lent, when I can eat meat again. Then again, I may be able to use vegetarian Canadian bacon in place of the ham until then).

  8. shoreacres says:

    Wonderful-sounding recipe, and I’m going to try it this week, as I have an aunt in town and need to be extra organized. Mom and I can “get alone”, but things need to be a little nicer for company!

    It does sound as though all is better than well – good for you!

  9. Pete says:

    Sounds delicious! Will have to try it out. And well done to you (and E) for being so organised. One of the mottos in our house is “let napping babies nap”.

  10. Andi says:

    YUM! I adore Nigella, and this one sounds like a winner. Will definitely try it. Maybe tonight!

  11. Courtney says:

    thanks everyone! It’s been so long since I posted this I no longer have any cool comments to make in return, but I promise for every meal I make in the morning, I also find some time here and there to read,nap, cuddle my baby, etc – it’s just fun to throw a meal together here and there as well!

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