We’ve had a few of these ham and cheese rolls this February. Mostly because they make a good breakfast or lunch but also because Skater keeps asking me to buy him bread and ham but never gets around to eating it. This is the perfect idea to use up both. They are just like French toast but without all the sugar. I have seen them made with prosciutto, ricotta and mushrooms and also with gooey stretchy cheese on Nagi’s Recipe Tin eats. Ours are made with strong and bitey cheddar cheese that has been just under melted because that is the way Skater likes them. I have also become addicted to the Sundried Tomato and Grain Mustard sauce from Rozas in Queensland, it’s one of my favourites. It’s great on mayo or with chicken or barbecued vegetables or meats. I think it would be nice through pasta with a bit of cream or perhaps through risotto as a side.
Meantime, Skater has continued his once a week cooking however, sometimes there have been some shortcuts. We’ll have to get around to new skills this March. This frozen Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli is a great shortcut that he can cook without any direction when I am flat out. He has added a very nice tomato cream and vegetable sauce, and presented me with this delicious and delicate looking plate.
Oh, and these cute golden bottles have almost convinced me to drink Scotch. I was given these samples of Monkey Shoulder, a coveted new Scotch that has become the darling of the bartenders worldwide for it’s quality and easy mixability. Its a smooth blended ‘triple’ malt Scotch that I tasted both straight (last night) and as a component in a cocktail (not last night, * hiccup*). Made by William Grant & Sons award-winning distillers in Dufftown, Scotland it’s considered to be a one of a kind due to it’s new age style and connection to a distillery with great provenance and history. Three single malts are combined and then matured in bourbon casks in small 27 case batches. If you are a Whisky aficionado then you will know that distilling is a serious business and in Scotland, there are certain expectations, rules and customs and this irreverent, cheeky personality filled Scotch has just come along and shaken things up. Even it’s name is a nod to the old traditional labour of turning the malt barley by hand. It was spread out on the floor in sheds and needed constant turning till it was ready to be used in the distilling process. The malt-men would complain of a “Monkey Shoulder” a once common injury after a long day’s work shovelling, where the resulting pain would feel as though they had a monkey on their shoulder. Here’s Dan Murphy’s tasting notes ..” it has a nose of sherry, cinnamon baked pear, butterscotch, barley, strawberry and Bourbon vanilla which are all complemented by tangy, sweet nut, citrus, mint, oak and orange peel flavours”. I must have another taste.
Here a nice cocktail recipe from whiskymag.com just in case you are tempted to mix up a few cocktails with Monkey Shoulder
MONKEY JAM SOUR
1 1/4 parts Monkey Shoulder
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
2 spoons jam ( such as orange marmalade)
Dash sugar to taste
3 dashes orange bitters
Add all ingredients to shaker. Shake well.
Strain into cocktail glass.
Garnish with twist of orange.
I have a jar of bread and butter pickles made by Maureen from orgasmicchef.com she brought them all the way from Queensland with her when she arrived last week for a writing course. They may even taste good in a Ham and Cheese French Toast Roll.
And so, if you ever need candy with your own picture on it ….you probably won’t forget the name. The Red Balloon Candy Artisans can make any themed candy you can imagine. I thought as a small Melbourne company they are worth knowing about. Anyone having a significant birthday?
Next and so importantly this is how I made those rolls. The simple recipe is below.
- 6 slices of bread - I used a sliced sour dough for more texture and flavour with crusts removed
- 6 thin strips of leg ham
- 6 strips of tasty cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon of sundried tomato and grain mustard spread - optional
- 2 eggs and ¼ cup / 100 ml of milk whisked together
- 50 gm of butter
- A sprinkling of salt and pepper for the egg mix
- Pan fried mushrooms or tomatoes to serve if you like . To make more just double the recipe.
- This recipe is best with a non stick fry pan.
- Cut the crusts of the slices of bread. Flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin or with the flat of your hand.
- Cut the ham and cheese and set aside.
- Whisk the egg and the milk and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Put the strips of ham and cheese onto one end of the slices of breasd and roll up. Squash them together a bit with your hands. Sit the rolls on their seam on a plate or board to keep them together. Roll all six .
- Heat the fry pan on a medium heat till nice and warm then add half the butter ( you can also use what ever oil you like but butter works the best for flavour and browning).
- Dip each roll into the egg mix turning over and letting the egg soak in. Immediately put each roll into the pan alongside each other. Adjust the heat so that the rolls don't burn. Turn them browning each side. Add more of the butter if it drys up.
- take each one out and put onto a plate as they as browned on all sides.