This was a very, very long week. I left the office late on Friday and met up with a friend for dinner, drinks and some mutual commiseration. I was feeling a bit better after shrimp-stuffed bacon-wrapped jalapeño peppers and a couple of mezcal, Campari and red vermouth concoctions. We headed down to Film Forum for the late showing of Vertigo. The theater was mysteriously empty, so I did not feel compelled to jab Louis when he started to snore softly next to me. Like I said, it was a rough week.
We emerged a couple of hours later into what felt alarmingly like winter. Louis walked me to the subway station. Two hours, three trains and a walk across Lower Manhattan later (I do not recommend taking the 2/3 this weekend), I arrived home, filled the humidifier and burrowed under the covers. I should be catching up on work emails. I should be completing the work from my summer course. I should be hauling the compost to the farmers’ market. I should be cleaning my apartment.
Instead, I made breakfast.
Kale & Leek Croque-Madame
- 1/2 tablespoon butter plus enough to fry an egg
- 2 heaping tablespoons minced leek
- 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 cup finely chopped kale (You could blanch this first, but I like my greens toothsome and a bit bitter.)
- 2 pieces bread (I went with a nice, hearty whole grain.)
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the flour and whisk continuously for a minute or two. Add the milk, mustard and nutmeg and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Gradually add the kale and keep whisking. Let cook for five minutes or so until the mixture thickens to a paste and the kale has wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toast the bread under the broiler. Divide your kale-leek béchamel (that’s right, you just made a béchamel!) evenly between the two pieces of bread and pop under the broiler for a couple of minutes while you fry an egg. Place the egg on top of your béchamel-slathered toast and you’re good to go.
If I accomplish nothing else, I will still consider today a success.