Post image for “Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin with Asparagus & Prosciutto from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

“Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin was the entrée recipe for the Easter Family Brunch class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach last week. I have to say, this Gratin was one of the best things I have eaten recently, with buttery crusted bread topped with Swiss cheese, prosciutto, asparagus, béchamel and a beautiful egg on top. The béchamel was amazing, flavored with Worcestershire, dry sherry, thyme and nutmeg. This is one of those dishes where the first bite makes you say to yourself, Oh wow! And each successive bite has you going, Mmmm.

A French Croque-Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with béchamel on top and it first appeared on Parisian café menus around 1910. The name is based on the verb croquer (“to crunch”) and the word monsieur (“mister”). A croquet-monsieur served with a fried or poached egg on top, which appeared around 1960, is known as a Croquet-Madame, because the egg resembles an old fashioned hat. So you can see that our gratin uses all the sandwich ingredients, just arranged in a different way. Well, with some asparagus added to make it even more ravishing.

The menu also included Roasted Shrimp & Pineapple Salad, Easter Banana Muffins and Springtime Apricot Cake, all of which would be perfect for your Easter brunch table.

Croque-Madame Brunch Gratin 2

The class version of our gratin was made in small pie plates, with the grilled bread covered with Swiss cheese, prosciutto and asparagus, with the béchamel ladled over all.

Croque-Madame Brunch Gratin 3

On these smaller versions, Grace-Marie tried to get the egg yolk to nest on top, but they refused, and thus settled on the side. This in no way detracted from the end result.

Croque-Madame Brunch Gratin 4

Here you can see how the gratins looked when they came out of the oven. Yum. In the recipe below, Grace-Marie makes the gratin in a 9×13” casserole, from which you would be scooping out portions with a large spoon or spatula. Just be sure to distribute the eggs evenly. If they won’t stay on top, next to is perfectly ok.

Croque-Madame Brunch Gratin 5

Grace-Marie decided to build an extra special gratin for me to photograph. She started with extra cheese, more asparagus and a large tangle of prosciutto. She set the gratin dish in an oven-proof sauté pan for ease of putting in and taking out of the oven.

Croque-Madame Brunch Gratin 6

The béchamel was poured over the top and a nest was made in the middle. The yolk stayed on top and we all cheered. Yea! When it came out of the oven, there was that melted cheese and the béchamel and egg white melded with the asparagus and prosciutto. Amazing!

Croque-Madame Brunch Gratin 7

For additional recipes from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen, look under Categories in the right-hand column.

Grace-Marie Johnston

Grace-Marie Johnston

For more information about the new schedule of cooking classes, visit Grace-Marie online at Bristol Farms or email her at gmj@bristolfarms.com.

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Post image for Brunch Roasted Shrimp & Pineapple Salad from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen and A 20 Year Anniversary

Easter Family Brunch was the theme of the Lunch With Friends class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach last week. Who doesn’t look forward to a holiday brunch, with delicious dishes set out on the board and you get to fill your plate to your heart’s content and your tummy’s satisfaction. The dishes Grace-Marie prepared for this brunch would do anyone proud, including, Brunch Roasted Shrimp and Pineapple Salad, Easter Banana Muffins,  “Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin and Springtime Apricot Cake. Has your mouth started watering yet?

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3 comments Read the full article →

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I was paging through the recent Martha Stewart magazine and on the very last page was an article about the Bauer Pottery Company and their relaunch of the Russel Wright American Modern line of pottery, which in the mid-20th century was the most popular dinnerware in the U.S. I read the short article and after [...]

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3 comments Read the full article →

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Thumbnail image for White Chocolate Orange Scones February 15, 2014

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Thumbnail image for Tofu & Soba Salad with Peanut Sauce February 6, 2014

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Thumbnail image for Top 10 Recipes of 2013 ~ Reader’s Choice Awards February 2, 2014

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope 2013 was as great a year for you as it was for me and Cook & Be Merry. For everyone who visited my blog, Thank You. And to all my great commenters, you are the absolute best! You make my day and make my blog so much more [...]

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Thumbnail image for Happy Holidays & Thank You! December 24, 2013

Dear Friends, thank you so much for all your visits this past year and to those of you who left comments, you’re the best. I am so heartened by the way we all connect over food and cooking, and I’m so happy to belong to this universal village. It is so amazing to realize that [...]

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Thumbnail image for Turkey Lentil Curry with Ginger & Garam Masala December 9, 2013

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Thumbnail image for Cranberry Hand Pies November 24, 2013

So, I was sitting here, trying to figure out what I was going to say about these Cranberry Hand Pies, and the only thing I could think of was that they are Freaking Amazing!! My pies are inspired by a recipe in a Bon Appetit Magazine from a while ago and the accompanying photo [...]

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Thumbnail image for Green Beans & Grapes with Persillade November 16, 2013

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Thumbnail image for Spicy Corn Bisque with Chorizo, Poblano & Lime November 11, 2013

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Thumbnail image for Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Lemon & Honey November 7, 2013

I am still in Thanksgiving mode and working on my side dishes for the big feast. I really like this one, with the soft sweet butternut squash, the crunchy nutty quinoa and the nuggets of garbonzo chewiness. I love the herby note of cilantro and sweet honey lemon vinaigrette that ties the whole thing together.

If [...]

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