MyMenu2

Monday, 16 May 2016

Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus

Asparagus works beautifully in these vegetarian savoury muffins alongside the faux ham, egg & cheese.  Their portable shape makes them a perfect snack when out & about.  

Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus

Way back in November I made our first croque-madame muffin, a quirky take on the classic French croque-madame of which our muffins bore no visual resemblance!  The classic croque-madame consists of ham and cheese which is laid onto a slice of toasted bread, this is topped with bechamel sauce and once lightly grilled a fried egg sit on top as the crowning glory.

These muffins, inspired by the wonderful Rachel Khoo, were far more interesting and fun having been baked in a muffin pan.  Sliced bread is laid within a muffin pan hollow, before adding a vegetarian ham substitute, egg, bechamel sauce and topping it all with a grating of mature cheese before popping into the oven for a few short minutes.


Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus


At the time of the original bake back in November, both Mr E & I both commented that asparagus would make a fantastic addition to these little dudes.  I mean, just think of slightly salty ham (or faux ham), rich egg and verdant green asparagus all housed together in a wonderful baked muffin with bechamel sauce mingling the flavours and adding a touch of creaminess to the affair!  We all know how often asparagus is paired with ham and egg, and the reason for that is because the flavours simply work.  So a mental note was made (or rather a paper note given how absent minded I can be) and now that the months have rolled by and our fabulous British asparagus has hit the shops I bought ourselves a bundle to try in our vegetarian croque-madame muffins.

Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus

I'm so glad I made that little note to try asparagus in these individual croque-madame muffins.  It's so delicious.  Not only does the nutrition of asparagus bring extra goodness to this lunch (being high in vitamins C, K and folate), it also adds a wonderful flash of colour as well as bringing extra flavour.  These savoury bakes are super quick to pull together and result in a scrumptious, healthy and filling lunch which is very transportable and as such lend themselves to being a great addition to packed lunches for school and work.  They'd also be good for picnics or tucked away in a rucksack when re-fuelling is needed on a long countryside walk, or simply enjoy them at home with a simple green salad. 



So, let's get to it and bake!

 

Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus       Yum

Yield: 3 Savoury Muffins
Serves: 3 as a light lunch
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:

Small Pan
Paring Knife
Wooden Spoon
Muffin Tray
Rolling Pin
Pastry Brush
Grater

For the Asparagus Croque Madame Muffins

6 Asparagus Spears
3 thick slices Bread, we used shop bought wholemeal
Vegetable / Sunflower Oil
25g Butter, unsalted
1 tbsp. Plain Flour
150ml Milk (warmed)
Seasoning
3 Eggs
3 Slices Quorn style Ham
Mature Cheddar

How to make it

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

2.  Prepare the asparagus.   Remove and discard any woody ends to the asparagus.  Either steam the asparagus spears or place them into a pan of simmering water and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove the spears from the water and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.   Use a paring knife to slice the stem into thin discs, leaving the top part of the asparagus spear in tact.  Set aside.  

3.  Prepare the muffin pan.  Lightly grease 3 hollows of the muffin pan.

4.  Prepare the bread.  Trim off any unwanted crusts.  Use a rolling pin to apply pressure to the bread to increase its surface area.  With a pastry brush paint a little oil onto the bread.  Line 3 muffin holes with the slices of bread, keeping the oiled side of the bread to the outside.  Apply a little more oil to the exposed corners of the bread.   The bread will act as an edible muffin case.

5. 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. 

6.  Fill the muffin cases.  Add a slice of the Quorn style ham to the muffin hollows lined with bread, you will probably need to fold it in half or quarters.   Place two spear tips and a third of the sliced asparagus discs into each of the muffins. Break the egg shell in half and dispose of about half of the egg white (the muffin case will over flow if the whole egg is used).  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.

7.  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 14 minutes).  Remove from the oven and set onto a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Notes:

a)  Consider making some meringues with the remaining egg white.  Alternatively place the unused egg white into an airtight container and freeze ready for using another day.
b)  Our asparagus tips stood proud in the assembled muffin, but we found that the tips very slightly over cooked this way.  To avoid this, either cover the tips with a little tin foil or simply keep the whole asparagus spear encased beneath the layer of egg and white sauce.  



 







Pin it for later

Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins with Aspragus.  The Asparagus works beautifully in these fun savoury muffins alongside the faux ham, egg and cheese.





This post has been shared with:

Meat Free Mondays hosted by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes


Treat Petite co-hosted by Kat at The Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi (this month the theme is picnics and is hosted by Kat)

Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina over at Searching for Spice

CookBlogShare Link up your recipe of the week Cuddle Fairy Monkey and Mouse






Share this Post Pin This Share on StumbleUpon Share on Tumblr Share on DigItShare on Redditt Share on Google PlusEmail This

25 comments:

  1. This looks lovely ! Wishing I had this for breakfast now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh they'd definitely make a great breakfast :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Sarah,
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. What a lovely creative way to eat asparagus! Can't wait to have my first British asparagus of the year X #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mandy :-) British asparagus is something we look forward to also :-)
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  3. ooooh these look so good! these would be great for picnics aswell as breakfast as Sarah mentioned. Love how they can use up old bread slices too x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenny :-) They'd be a great for using up some slightly old bread, and they're so portable that they'd be just the ticket for a picnic or breakfast...or even an alfresco breakfast ;-)
      Thanks for popping by Jenny,
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. Cooorrrrrr this is exactly what I want for my lunch! Asparagus is my fave veggie :) I will eat it with everything. A bit like marmite :)
    Thanks for sharing the delish recipe!
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it just scrummy Betty, though I personally can't compare it a love of marmite ;-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. Asparagus is a lovely veggie. What a wonderful combination of ingredients. Thank you for sharing.
    #BloggerClubUK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It one of our favourites Joy. We certainly try to make the most of the British Asparagus, it's such a short season.
      Thanks you for popping by,
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. What a fab idea Angela - very creative and seasonal. :-) I do love asparagus but have hardly eaten any this year :-) - need to put that right very soon!! Eb x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm that was meant to be a :-( about the lack of asparagus in my life at the moment - definitely not a :-) state of affairs!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Eb, they really are very delicious :-) Given the short window of opportunity for enjoying the British asparagus you certainly need to rectify that...though I really didn't pick up on your emoji mixup :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Eb,
      Angela x

      Delete
  7. These sound so delicious and the pictures are just beautiful! I would love to eat them now! Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Corina :-) They really are delicious, and so relatively easy to pull together.
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  8. Oh I like the look of these - really clever twist of a classic, and beautiful photography :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Thank you Sarah. The original idea came from a TV programme (as I mentioned in the post) but the idea of the asparagus just hit us as being an obvious addition to the scrummy bake. Thank you for the lovely comments Sarah,
      Angela x

      Delete
  9. yum, yum, yum - love this. Can't wait to try with some lovely fresh asparagus :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have :-)
      Angela x

      Delete
  10. This sounds gorgeous! And what a great recipe to enjoy asparagus in a different way! Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Becky :-) It certainly made a nice change to have our asparagus in this bake rather than just presenting it in the classic way.
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  11. Oh yum! These look so delicious, I need to make some! Thanks for entering into Treat Petite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Thank you Kat, we really enjoyed them - with and without the asparagus,
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  12. These look delicious, although I don't eat ham, I would love to substitute smoked salmon. My mouth is watering at the thought! I need to try it for breakfast, it would make a great change from porridge! Thanks for linking up to #HowtoSunday :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh salmon sounds a great idea Jenny for and would certainly make a posh alternative to porridge :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comments and of course for hosting a great linky,
      Angela x

      Delete

Thank you for spending your time to read my recipe posts. Feel free to leave a comment, I enjoy receiving your feedback. However, due to spam I have activated comment moderation, which simply means that each comment will be read by myself before it is visable on Only Crumbs Remain. I shall publish and respond to your valuable comments as soon as I can. So please don't panic when your comment disappears when you hit the publish button :-)

Flick through our recipes!