Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Saturday 24 March 2018

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - ROBERT DOISNEAU

What an amazing photograph! That was the way to capture a moment.

Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville was one of the most iconic photographs of the Twentieth Century. 
(I don’t care whether it was or was not staged.)

Doisneau's name was made famous after the publication of this image of a couple embracing on a Parisian street.

Starting as a draughtsman, he later became a camera assistant and then a photographer in his own right. 

He was a soldier and a member of the French Resistance.

The Croque Monsieur first appeared on French menus in 1910 so would have been familiar to Doisneau. He might like to enjoy this with me while we look at his beautiful evocation of reckless passion (like vegetarian ham and cheese in harmony).


Serves 2

4 slices vegetarian ham
100g gruyere cheese, grated
4 slices fresh bread from a crusty loaf (or 2 large, each cut in half)
40g butter at room temperature
2tsp Dijon mustard
125ml milk
125ml double cream
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and chopped finely
2 bay leaves
20g plain flour

Heat the milk and cream together in a small saucepan. Add the garlic, bay leaves and onion. When nearly boiling, turn off and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.
Then pass through a sieve and discard all the bits.
Melt 20g of butter in a pan and add the flour. Cook through and then add the milk from before, a bit at a time, stirring well. Then add 1tsp of the mustard. You should now have a thick sauce.
Spread the slices of bread with the rest of the butter.
Place them – buttered side up – under a grill until toasted and golden.
Then, turn the slices over and spread each with a little of the remaining mustard, followed by a thick layer of the sauce.
Cover each with grated cheese (use about two-thirds)...
...and then a slice of the ‘ham’.
Place two slices together to form the sandwiches.
Cover each sandwich with more of the sauce and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Cook in oven at Gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F for about 20 minutes, or until piping hot and golden.

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