FRANCE: Croques Monsieur
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Gruyere or other swiss, grated
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
8 oz sliced ham
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes
Pour the milk into the butter–flour mixture in slow stream, whisking
Cook and whisk until the sauce is thickened
Turn off heat and add ½ cup Gruyere and all of the Parmesan and salt
Toast bread in toaster or oven
Assemble sandwiches as follows (bottom up), diving ingredients evenly between 4 sandwiches: Toast, ham, 1 cup Gruyere, toast, cheese sauce, 1 cup Gruyere
Broil 5-7 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned
6 cups vegetable oil for frying
2 baking potatoes (1 1/2 pounds total)
Heat 2 inches oil to 375°F in a wide 5- to 7-quart heavy pot (at least 4 inches deep) over medium heat
Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise with slicer to make 1/8-inch-thick julienne strips
Fry potatoes in small batches – about 5 -- stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch (Return oil to 375°F between batches.)
Drain potatoes on paper towels and season with salt
1 lbs broccoli, cut into 2-inch-wide pieces
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Steam broccoli, 8 to 12 minutes until tender
Meanwhile, melt butter in pot over medium heat
Add almonds, stirring, until butter and nuts are golden and have a nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice and drained broccoli
Nearly 20% of the territory of France lies outside Europe. These regions are known as “DOM-TOM” (overseas departments and territories), where over 2.5 million French citizens live.
There are some 40,000 châteaux (castles, manors, palaces…) in France.
The Société Bic was the world’s first mass manufacturer of ball-point pens. It sold its 100,000 millionth ball pen in 2005.