Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crispy Sir, AKA Las Vegas: The Sequel

According to the William Sonoma chef, a croque is the French version of a panini, or a crispy sandwich. For the demo, she made Croque-Monsieur or "Crispy Sir". This is a crustless bread sandwich, consisting of expensive French mustard (available at William Sonoma), Mornay sauce (white sauce with cheese added), ham and Gruyere, which is toasted in the panini/croques pan (available at William Sonoma). So, basically, a grilled ham and cheese with a fancy name.

The technique class did have it's interesting points and I might go back for a couple of the upcoming classes. Allie and I did not stay for the whole demo and we didn't get any tastes. As it turns out, the people attending were quite inexperienced in cooking - or maybe reading and paying attention. The chef was informative and had a good sense of humor and I did get a few helpful hints - such as learning we need to let crepe mixture rest at least a couple hours ( or use the already rested mix available at William Sonoma).

Our demo mates asked strange questions. One woman asked if leaving out the 1 tsp of sugar would reduce the carbs. This set the chef off on a funny rant that basically explained that if you want low carb, low fat, don't make crepes. Another woman asked why the basic recipe in our class materials (a 4 page brochure) didn't include sugar. The answer, because it is the BASIC recipe. Please note the recipe immediately following the BASIC recipe, has sugar. One woman wanted to know where to buy Gruyere cheese. Answer: the store. And everyone WANTED everything the chef demo'd. I understand why William Sonoma runs these classes. People were demanding more mix, more mustard, more equipment. Can I buy a special crepe pan? A special hunk of wood to nudge my crepe? I'm surprised WS doesn't start selling specially packaged flour and eggs because our classmates would have bought them.

Allie and I decided to leave shortly after one woman repeated a question asked by another woman only 1 minute before. Besides, the demo crispy sirs had been sitting on the counter while we were learning about crepes and were probably cold. We headed off to our real breakfast at The Cheesecake Factory. As usual, my breakfast was really two or maybe three breakfasts all on one plate. I got the California Omelet and Allie, in keeping with our French theme, got the French Toast Napoleon - French toast slathered with fresh strawberries.

After breakfast, we were just lazy and we got another movie, Sunshine Cleaning, and went home. We watched our movie, ate chocolates and took naps. Dinner was leftovers again and we watched TV. In the telling, it sounds boring, but Allie and I had a good time.

Yesterday we tried a new restaurant in my neighborhood, The Cracked Egg. This time I had the French Toast and Allie had the South Shore Scramble - eggs with Swiss cheese, bacon and avocado (hold the chicken). My French Toast was really Elvis' French Toast, stuffed with peanut butter and covered with bananas and honey. It was delicious. Again, enough for three. Leftovers for both of us. After breakfast we went to the Forum Shops, a traditional stop on a visit from Allie. News to me, the shops have expanded. OMG! We walked, and walked, and walked. And went upstairs. YES! The Forum Shops has levels now. We didn't buy anything. Not even chocolate.

We had a very, very late lunch of sushi at my neighborhood sushi bar. Our favorite was the roll with tempura shrimp, tuna, cucumbers and spicy garlic sauce. It was all good. We then stopped to get another movie and headed home. We rented My Cousin Vinny because I couldn't believe Allie hasn't seen it (she's too young I guess) and I love it. Unfortunately Allie will never know how funny it is because she fell asleep about 5 minutes in and didn't wake up until Marisa Tomei saved the day. I love that movie. Speaking of movies, Sunshine Cleaning was well done and entertaining but won't be one of my favorites like My Cousin Vinny.

Today is Allie's last day here and I'm not sure what we're doing. We've just finished breakfast and now we can plan.


JohnnyB said...

karen and I watched Sunshine Cleaning on Sunday. Good movie, not great, like you said, The bio-hazard cleaning business as a metaphore for cleaning up the detretis left in the girls' lives by their mother's suicide was almost too heavy-handed. I also thought there must have been more about the relationship with the man in the store that got edited out.

Jenny said...

I thought Sunshine Cleaning was so-so.