Monday, 16 November 2015

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins

A quirky take on the classic, this version is made using a vegetarian meat substitute all housed in a muffin tin to make for a perfect delicious snack when out & about.  

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins

After visiting family a couple of weeks ago over the boarder in Lancashire, Mr E & I were famished when we arrived home.  We needed something quick. Something satisfying.  Something nutritious. Something which would make the taste buds dance with joy. 
A couple of weeks earlier I had watched a short cookery programme which showed Rachel Khoo bake some croque madame muffins in her tiny Parisian kitchen.  The name sounds really posh, but it's simply the French's wonderful way of describing a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg, the egg apparently representing a lady's hat!  She made them by lining her muffin tins with some simple sliced white bread, added a slice of ham, an egg and some white b├ęchamel sauce.  It was then topped with a generous grating of cheese before being baked for a few minutes.    It looked so simple and I knew I had to try it soon.

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins

However, as the classic croque madam contains ham and given that Mr E is a vegetarian and I, being as fussy as they come, having never liked ham the question was "what shall we include in our savoury muffin?"   We could have rang the changes and included a whole raft of vegetables, the one which jumps into my mind particularly is asparagus.  However our wonderful British asparagus is out of season now so that shall have to wait for another day, or rather another season!  We decided not to deviate too far from Rachel's recipe and opted to use a vegetarian Quorn ham.

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins

For the muffin casing I decided use a couple of slices of homemade cholla, one of Mr E's favourite enriched breads.  When teamed with the richness of the egg, b├ęchamel sauce and cheese in this vegetarian croquet madam the outcome was wonderful.  The bread became crispy from being lightly coated in sunflower oil, the sauce provided a lovely creaminess & richness with the cheese, and the faux ham gave a slight salty note.  You will no doubt notice that our egg yolk was cooked until firm, this is how we prefer it.  Though if you prefer your egg runny simple cook it for a couple of minutes less.

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins

So, did our taste buds dance with joy?  Oh yes, most certainly yes!  These were delicious and the four we made were soon demolished.  Clearly we ate them warm from the oven for lunch (after a few pictures were snapped of course) but they'd make a great breakfast treat too.  They'd also be great cold taken as part of a work / school packed lunch or as an energy re-fuelling snack whilst on an autumnal walk.


So, let's get to it and bake!

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins       Yum

Yield: 4 Savoury Muffins
Serves: 2 - 4
Difficulty: Easy
Freezable: N/A
Time: Preparation 10 - 15 minutes; Bake 12 - 18 minutes (depending upon how runny or firm you like your egg).

You will need:

Wooden Spoon
Muffin Tray
Rolling Pin
Pastry Brush
Small Pan
Grater

For the Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins

4 thick slices White Bread, I used Cholla
Vegetable / Sunflower Oil
25g Butter, unsalted
1 tbsp. Plain Flour
150ml Milk (warmed)
Seasoning
4 Eggs
4 Slices Quorn style Ham
Mature Cheddar

How to make it

1. Preheat the oven to 180c / Fan 160c / Gas 4

2. Make bechamel sauce.  Place the butter into a small pan and set it over a medium heat.  Once it has melted make the roux by adding the flour and mixing together with a wooden spoon.  It will form a smooth paste.  Cook this gently for a minute or so being careful not to colour the roux.  Slowly add the warmed milk, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.   Season.  Keep cooking the sauce and gradually it will start to thicken.   Remove it from the heat and set aside.

3.  Prepare the bread.  Using a rolling pin apply pressure to the bread to increase its surface area.  Remove the crusts if you like (we left ours on).  Using the pastry brush paint a little oil onto the bread.  Line 4 muffin holes with the slices of bread.  The bread will act as an edible muffin case. 

4.  Fill the muffin cases.  Add a slice of the Quorn style ham, you will probably need to fold it in half or quarters.   Break the egg shell in half and dispose of about half of the egg white, this is because the muffin case will over flow if the whole egg is used (you could set the white aside and perhaps make some meringues).   Gently  add the yolk and remaining white into the muffin case.   Add a dessert spoonful of the white sauce.  Top with a grating of mature cheddar cheese.

5.  Bake.  Place the muffin tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for around 12 to 18 minutes depending upon how firm you like your egg (we baked ours for 15 minutes).  Remove from the oven and set onto a cooling rack.

Enjoy!







 

This post has been shared with:

Meat Free Mondays hosted by Jaqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes
Meat Less Mondays hosted by Tina over at Fuel your Future and Deborah over at Confessions of a Mother Runner
Brilliant Breakfasts hosted by Made with Pink
Cook Once Eat Twice, hosted by Corina over at Searching for Spice


CookBlogShare
Link up your recipe of the week Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

24 comments:

  1. What a wonderful vegetarian twist on the classic! Thanks for joining us for meatless Monday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Deborah,
      and thanks for popping by and commenting
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. Oh these look lovely!!! What a cute little savory snack! Thanks so much for joining us! Hope you will again in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're lovely aren't they - perfect for taking out and about to refuel when hungry.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Tina, and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  3. YUM these look really tasty, and I've never come across them before! Alice xx

    www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alice :-) You know, we'd never heard of them before either until I saw the meat version being made on a TV programme.
      They were really delicious, and I know we'll certainly make them again.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. What a lovely, quick and easy recipe. My kind of food. Bookmarking for future reference. Eb x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly is quick and easy Eb, our hungry tummies were soon satisfied once we'd rustled this up between us :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. These sound beautiful! I will have to have a go at some for a weekend brunch when I've got a little more time. I love the idea of adding some asparagus when it's in season and maybe a bit of spinach would be nice too. Thank you for linking up with #CookOnceEatTwice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Corina, they were really delicious! Ooh I like the idea of adding spinach to them, that shot of colour would look great when they're broken into.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting, and of course for hosting,
      Angela xl

      Delete
  6. Oh these sound delicious! I bet they'd be perfect straight from the oven, mmmm. #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They certainly were Mandy. Full of flavour and gorgeousness! :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Mandy,
      Angela x

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Rebecca, they were really delicious and so easy to put together.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  8. What a great idea! I love the sound of this, although I'd switch back to regular bacon for ours :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're fabulous little bundles of deliciousness Charlotte
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  9. How delicious, love that it's vegetarian too. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Vicki, it's amazing how relatively easy it can be to make traditional meat based dishes with substitutes like Quorn.
      Thanks for hosting,
      Angela x

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  10. Mmmm these look so good, we are eating a lot more meat free meals so this would go down a treat! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kirsty, they're seriously delicious!
      Thanks for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  11. These are such a great idea! I love croque's, and I've never thought to turn them into a breakfast dish like this. Very innovative. Thanks so much for linking up to Brilliant Breakfasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Andrea, though the credit for making them into a muffin shape certainly goes to Rachel Khoo, I simply adapted them to make a vegetarian alternative. They are really delicious and I'd certainly recommend giving them ago, be it for a breakfast or a light lunch.
      Thanks for popping by, and for hosting Andrea,
      Angela x

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  12. Replies
    1. Hahaha, you'll have to try one Betty they taste amazing :-)
      Angela x

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