I had the most amazing Croque Madame sandwich at Cafe de Flore when I was in Paris recently, and ever since I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe to match. It’s probably impossible. So much of the experience was ambience. (An upstairs table; Rainy Saturday afternoon; Restaurant packed with tourists and locals.)
I love this description of the Croque Madame by Kellina de Boer, editor of the fabulous blog, I Want to be a Roitfeld:
“This beloved French bar snack is traditionally made with melted Gruyère or Emmental cheese and ham, grilled to perfection between two slices of crusty bread perhaps dressed in a Mornay or Béchamel sauce with an egg sunny side up on top.
“In parts of Normandy they refer to this culinary comfort as croque-à-cheval. The decadent croque madame first appeared on menus in Paris in 1910 and in literature in Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) in 1918.”
Here’s Kellina’s recipe for the perfect Croque Madame:
8 slices of bread
4 slices of ham
150 g grated cheese
60 g butter
20 cl whipping cream
1. Trim the edges of the slices of bread. Spread them with a little butter.
Cut thin slices of cheese and arrange on bread.
2. Add the slice of ham folded in half. Cover with another slice of buttered bread.
3. In a bowl, add grated cheese, heavy cream, and a pinch of pepper and salt. Mix.
4. On toasted bread place a spoonful of the mixture of grated cheese and cream.
Spread it gently on the slice of bread and reserve. Preheat oven to 360° F.
5. Just before serving, broil in oven 3-4 minutes.
6. In a skillet fry eggs. Place an egg on each croque madame and serve hot.
The new US Vogue has the most fantastic spread on Kate Moss at the Paris Ritz. Ruffles, pink bubbles, gilt! It’s a piece best read with champagne and macarons! More Here!
A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I was working on a story about Livia and Colin Firth. I wanted to follow up with a little snapshot of the story, which appeared in the Oscar issue of The Hollywood Reporter…
The story is about Livia’s effort to encourage celebrities to wear eco fashions on the red carpet. She had great success this year, with Michael Fassbender and Colin wearing tuxes made partly of recycled plastic to the BAFTA awards. Viola Davis wore a pink Valentino dress made of recycled soda bottles.
I LOVE the dress Livia is wearing the photo above. It’s an “upcycled” gown by Gary Harvey made of vintage opera-costume dresses!
Livia blogs about her efforts on the UK Vogue site. Her Twitter page, with links to behind-the-scenes candids, is fun to follow too. Plus, both sites have photos of this handsome guy:
PS: She also has an amazing Tumblr.
(Instagrams taken at the Soho House in West Hollywood.)
Even the graffiti is beautiful in Paris…
(Photos from my recent trip!)
Here’s my little Los Angeles week-in-review via Instagram:
Wilshire Blvd. eastbound; flowers at my editor’s baby shower; a palm tree in the courtyard of the Wilshire Ebell Theater; A “Love Me” sign on a Wilshire Blvd. building, westbound;
Nicole’s awesome Valentino heels; David Boies and George Clooney at the “8” play premiere; Hollywood & Highland; “Think Outside the Box” in Nicole’s Beverly Hills kitchen;
Full moon over Century City; morning in Pasadena; evening at the Wilshire Ebell Theater; sunset in Beverly Hills.
I spent a lot of time on Wilshire Blvd this week. It’s nice to have a Saturday to relax! I want to send out a special thanks to the lovely guest bloggers who kept English Muse going while I was traveling. (I’m hoping they’ll stay on!)
What are you doing this weekend?
I’m back from Paris and, in an effort to extend my trip, I’m reading “The Flâneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris” by Edmund White. It’s wonderful!!
My trip was really amazing. I ended up working lots and, unfortunately, I didn’t get much time to meet people. Very sorry! I’m want to have a blogger party next time I go (which will hopefully be soon!)
I was surprised by how mild the weather was. On my last night there, while walking back to my apartment, I heard a nightingale singing in the park. Really magical. So I’m savoring this book I’m reading about the city….
What are you reading?
(photo credit: spudballoo).