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Toasted Croissant Sandwich, Bechamel Sauce & Yukon Gold Potato Soup


Toasted Croissant Sandwich

6 croissants
12 slices ham
2 ½  cups gruyere cheese
1 large bunch asparagus, cleaned and trimmed at bottoms
1 ½  cups béchamel sauce – recipe below, best to use when cold
2 ounces melted butter
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place asparagus flat on sheet pan.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Roast in oven for approximately 8-10 minutes or until fork tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
When all ingredients are ready to use, proceed as follows:
Slice croissants ¾ open.  Brush bottom with melted butter.  Layer with 2 slices ham, about 6-10 roasted asparagus spears, approximately 1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese.  Close with top croissant half.  Drizzle top croissant with 1/3 cup béchamel sauce.  Sprinkle béchamel sauce with ¼ cup gruyere cheese.
Proceed with all croissants in same manner.  May be prepared ahead and stored in fridge for several hours.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. 
Serves 6.

Bechamel Sauce – best to prepare ahead of time and chill

2 cups whole milk
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
2 TBSP white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP melted butter whisked with 2 TBSP all -purpose flour

Combine milk with nutmeg, wine, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil.  Whisk in butter and flour mixture.  Continue to whisk and bring milk mixture back to boil.  Lower heat to simmer and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, making sure to stir often. 
Remove from heat, strain through fine sieve and allow to cool.  Place plastic directly over sauce to prevent crust from forming. 
May be prepared 2 days before and stored in fridge. 

Yukon Gold Potato Soup

5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cleaned and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 ½ lbs onions, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
4 oz butter, chilled and cut into ½” pieces
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ cups white wine
1 tsp dried thyme
8 cups chicken broth
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add potatoes and onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute until wilted.  Add garlic, thyme and white wine.  Bring to boil and reduce wine by half.  Add chicken broth and bring to boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Puree with immersion blender or blender until smooth.  Taste for seasonings and add heavy cream. 
Can be prepared ahead of time and gently reheated before service.
Serves 6 – 8. 

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