I stopped my by parents’ place today for a quick brunch.  But what to make? Brunch can be a bit tricky: balanced precipitously between breakfast and lunch, it’s a meal that begs for something more significant than a bowl of cereal, but not quite a burger.

I think the croque madame is the perfect solution for the hybridized sunday meal.  Typically made with ham, Bechamel, Gruyere, and topped with an egg- it begs to be interpreted and expanded upon.  To be honest, I dont think i’ve ever made a basic Croque Madame before.  I find Bechamel to be a bit much.  I’d rather more cheese and some other interesting surprises buried inside, such as this:

That, my friends is a fantastic specialty meat product known as Blood Tongue, or Zungenwurst, for those of you who sprechen sie deutsch. I’ll give you two guesses as to what’s in it.

It’s a pretty appropriate ingredient to be using around Halloween, I’ll give you that.  I’ll also admit that it’s not for the faint of heart.  As I raided the fridge I spotted half a pound of it sitting in the deli drawer,  thinly sliced and wrapped in paper with the price written on it in pencil- a sign that it had come from the archdukes of meat, Schaller & Weber.  Nothing I write here is going to sway you to eat it-  you’re either adventurous enough to try it or you’re not.  If you’re the former, then high-fives for you!

This particular Croque featured the following, in no particular order or quantity (Note: this sort of recipe is one that doesn’t need exact measurements or instructions- just take an ambien and have another mimosa- everything will be just fine)

Health bread
Blood Tongue
Goat Gouda and Grana Padano Cheese, grated
Dijon Mustard
Roasted Red Peppers
Sunny-side Egg.

Start out by constructing the sandwich as if it were a pannini:  lots of grated cheese (don’t be a facist about the cheese, more is better), mustard, ham, and peppers.  If you’ve got a pannini press, all the better,  if not, toss it on a skillet grilled-cheese style.  Unless you hate delicious things, use butter on the skillet/press.

while that’s going on, prepare a sunny side egg.  when it’s almost ready, shred some more cheese on it.   Once the sammich is brown, top it with the blood tongue, drape the egg on top, and (you guessed it,) more cheese.

There’s quite a bit going on in this sandwich, but it’s worth it.  the blood tongue gives it a lively personality, and the roasted peppers give it some welcome sweetness and pop.

Congrats! get your brunch on.

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