Reliving our trip to France, I had thought of making open-faced grilled cheeses or croquettes without ham a few times, and finally got around to it. I chose a good time because we had some fabulous fresh veggies to make a good salad take center stage with the sandwiches on the side. Honestly, because I used Paul's favorite Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, the sandwiches weren't tops in my book. I just can't learn to love a really sharp cheese. But Paul enjoyed it.
Recipe for Croquettes
Four slices whole wheat bread
2 pads butter (half for each slice, more if preferred)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 cup sliced cheese (more or less to taste
1 Tablespoon dried parsley, crushed
Spread half of each pad of butter over bread. (Some people say to toast the bread first. I didn't think it necessary, but it is certainly an option for really crunchy toast.) Lay slices of cheese over bread. spinkle paprika over cheese. Sprinkle parsley on top. Cook on top rack of oven with broiler set on 500 degrees for just a couple minutes until c cheese is melted and edges are toasty. It isn't necessary to preheat the oven in this case. Also, especially if you've never used a broiler before, don't allow yourself to be destracted by the rest of the meal. Do it ahead--even the salad part. Because the bread will toast quickly, and I have blackened toast just by turning my back around.
I thought this picture of these butcher's knives from a to-die-for (even today) World War I kitchen in a "hunting chateau" called Chenonceau in France is an appropriate photo to accompany this post. It was a well-equipped and systematic setup in the early days of technology. It's a must see if you're ever in the area.
Roissy is basically where Charles de Gaulle Airport is in Paris, France. We got done saying good-bye to the group late and there were only three restaurants open in the city (not including the hotel dining rooms.) The only option was an Asian restaurant; so, we walked into the largest restaurant we had seen during our trip around Paris and northern France. But, even by the time we left there were only four tables filled.
Once we left Paris, we had an interesting variety of breakfasts. In Caen, the Kyriad Hotel had a great variety of rolls, cheeses, sliced meats, cereal, and granola. They had juice dispensers instead of juice poured out of pitchers, which was more institutional than quaint. And they even had hot chocolate powder. Amusingly, the hot chocolate mix was Nesquick! I also remember a basket full of fresh fruit.
There are times when it is appropriate to cut corners when eating. We felt Mont Saint-Michel was one of those opportunities. A real tourist trap, even small packages of cookies with the island printed on the packaging ran over 7 euros in gift shops.
Amorino is a chain pastry shop with coffee and gelato that has many locations in Paris. A number of individuals in our group loved it and visited it regularly. We didn't like the looks of the gelato nor the selection and went back to Grom for our last night in Paris. To research Amorino for yourself, visit www.Amorino.com, but the website is in French.
We already knew Paul bakery existed and was good because we had seen one two years ago in Charles de Gaulle airport during a layover. Being peak lunch time, Paul was doing a great business. In an effort to be speedy as we knew there was more on our to-do list, we ordered three pre-made waffles that were put into a warmer at 250 degrees Celsius. Then we could request chocolate syrup or powdered sugar as a topping.
Down in the basement of the La Tour Notre Dame Best Western was a small room with brick walls and archways and nice tables with chairs crammed up against the wall to provide enough seating. Many Europeans don't do breakfast. At most, it's a hot drink and roll. Occasionally, juice accompanies the meal. I learned pineapple juice is quite popular in France.
Gigi and Larry met us after breakfast in time to take the metro to be at the Eiffel Tower when it opened. However, nature must not have gotten the message we were coming because the Eiffel was mostly covered in clouds for the day. We agreed to climb the tower anyway and to get a look at the city from the second floor.