If there is one silver lining about the coronavirus crisis, it’s that we have more quality time to spend with the family. As we continue to practise social distancing, you can always get creative in the kitchen by instilling in your children a love for baking.
As part of Le Bristol Paris’ #WeStayUnited, a campaign launched by the Oetker Collection to remind ourselves that we remain connected even in this difficult situation, renowned French chef Éric Fréchon shared these two classic French recipes with a modern twist.
Polenta Croque Monsieur
750ml whole milk
40ml double cream
150g dried polenta
4 ham slices
4 emmental cheese slices
4 white bread slices
4 tsp butter, separated
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 160° C/ 325˚ F
2. Remove the crust from the bread slices and discard. Place bread into a food processor and mix until fine.
3. Bring milk to a boil on the stove.
4. Once the milk has reached a boil, add the dried polenta slowly whilst stirring constantly. Cook on low for 20 minutes, stirring regularly and adding the double cream incrementally to avoid sticking.
5. When polenta has cooked, remove it from flame and pour into a rectangular baking dish so that it reaches 1 cm thickness. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool and firm.
6. Cut out 12 slices into 10 cm x 10 cm/ 4” x 4” squares
7. Place 4 of the polenta squares side-by-side on a baking sheet
8. Top each with 1 slice of emmental cheese and 1 slice of ham
9. Place a slice of polenta on top
10. Add one more layer of cheese and ham
11. Top with a final slice of polenta
12. Sprinkle each with breadcrumbs and 1 tsp butter
13. Place in oven for 15 minutes until the inside is warm and cheese is melted
14. Adjust oven to the grill setting for 30 seconds to brown the top of the sandwich
15. Serve and enjoy!
“The dish is best served with crème fraiche mixed with a bit of nutmeg or parmesan and a green salad.”