Foodie news | Vive le McBaguette!
Special to the Sun
PARIS, FRANCE and#8212; The last time I was in Paris the thing that impressed me most about the local McDonalds was it served wine. Oh. Never mind. I was drinking wine at a cafe next to McDonalds. Easy mistake to make as they drink wine everywhere, all the time, in France. They probably drink it in the restroom! Oh. Again, that was me. The big news this week in Paris, however, is not the unveiling of this yearand#8217;s Beaujolais, but the latest addition to McDonaldsand#8217; menu: Le McBaguette. Set to debut on April 18 in the City of Lights, this tribute to French fast food is said, in the words of McDonalds France president Nawfal Trabelsic, to be and#8220;of symbolic importance.and#8221; I beg to differ. Sure it sounds like a huge step for mankind when compared to, say, the Double Cheeseburger on the Dollar Menu, but France has already brought many a great sandwich to the world. Can you say Croque Monsieur? OK, that is a hard one to pronounce. How about Monte Cristo? You donand#8217;t need to be able to roll your and#8220;Rsand#8221; to appreciate these culinary contributions. Following are the recipes for both, plus the McBaguette. You decide which one makes you sit up and say and#8220;encore.and#8221; McBon appetit!
Ingredients for one sandwich:
1/4 of one rustic French bread baguette, cut length-wise
2 Tbls. strong, whole grain mustard
1 Tbls. butter
one grilled hamburger patty
2 thick slices Emental cheese (a rich Swiss found in Safeway’s gourmet cheese section, or the Village Market, in Incline)
one large lettuce leaf
Preparation: Spread bread with softened butter on both sides, mustard on top only. Layer beef patty, cheese and lettuce on bread bottom, close up with top slice. Serve.
This ham and cheese sandwich is topped with a creamy bechamel sauce
Ingredients for four sandwiches:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or more to taste
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed)
8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
2 ounces ham, sliced
Preparation: Preheat oven to 400°F. To make the bechamel sauce melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyere. Set aside. Next, lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before toasting. Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyere cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices. Spoon bechamel sauce on to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere cheese. Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.
A fancy grilled French toast sandwich sprinkled with powdered sugar
Ingredients for one sandwich:
2 slices bread (preferably Hawaiian Sweet bread or potato bread)
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
4 slices cooked ham
2 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup milk
Preparation: Spread bread with mayonnaise and mustard. Alternate ham and Swiss slices on bread. Beat egg and milk in a small bowl. Coat the sandwich with the egg and milk mixture. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat, brown the sandwich on both sides. Sift powdered sugar over top side. Serve hot.