|Resolutions are for suckers! Wasabi's answer to clean, healthy living - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|The many stages of a casserole-in-progress - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Instead of Gruyere cheese, which is the typical choice, I had a spicy habanero-spiked white cheddar. For this early attempt, I just used what I had on-hand and I happened to have chunks of ham and a large wedge of spicy aged cheddar. What can I say, our kitchen is weird and I have an unholy love of Costco. The spice was a nice addition, as was the use of aged cheddar, so I think it's fine to let cheese be a bit of a wild card. The shuffled bread, meat, cheese combo was baked for about 15 minutes for the cheese to get melted and the bread to crisp a little, then a bechamel sauce was poured over the whole thing and the broiler got turned on to brown the top of the casserole. When it's served, the big charred center on a large baking dish isn't the prettiest thing in the world, but sliced into large ooey-gooey squares and served up on a plate, it's not so bad. Despite the in-progress status on this, the first attempt was still delicious. I just wanted to further improve on the texture of each bite and make the bread feel more custard-like, soaking up more of the egg and milk mixture before the slices are shuffled between the meat. I'm definitely looking forward to making this again, improvements considered, to give it that perfect Croque Monsieur experience, in an easy large-scale size for sharing over brunch, as I think this has the potential to be a real winner alongside a mimosa.