I don’t know who invents these things, but apparently today is National Croissant Day.
Not sure whether to laugh or cry since discovering the “National Day Calendar“. There’s some really weird stuff on there. Today is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day as well for instance. See what I mean?
As a food blogger, I’d never get out of the kitchen if I had to honour each food-related day with a suitable post in acknowledgement. But I happily make an exception for National Croissant Day, as I happened to make this gorgeous beauty over the weekend.
The generous gooey filling makes for messy eating, but as a once-in-a-blue-moon treat, it’s so worth it. Simple but indulgent and great to play around with depending on what you’ve got hanging about in the fridge.
However you decide to vary this, dressing it up or down, the one thing I insist on is that you don’t skimp on the croissant itself. I was spoiled growing up, as Belgium and the Netherlands are blessed with millions of proper “warm bakeries” that serve up freshly baked buttery croissants straight from the oven on a daily basis. The ones “freshly” presented in England usually don’t quite make the mark I fear. And even when they do, it’s a bit of a bother to get hold of them if you live fairly remotely “in the country” as I do.
So I usually resort to a good “ready to bake” dough from the fridge or freezer for that rare croissant craving that might hit me when I least expect it.
A croissant is not just for breakfast, ya know.
Croissant with Chorizo, Garlic Mushrooms and Taleggio (serves 2 )
Just leave out the Chorizo and use a vegetarian cheese alternative to turn this into a delicious vegetarian treat.
2 freshly baked large croissants, halved
1 tsp coconut oil or rapeseed oil
a generous handful of mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 leek, whites only, thinly sliced
1 plump clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or crushed
1 spring onion, finely chopped (optional)
1-2 tbsp white wine, vermouth, sherry or Madeira (optional)
Fresh herbs of choice (parsley, basil, chives, thyme or oregano work best)
100 gr Taleggio (or another good melting cheese such as buffalo mozzarella, a blue cheese works great too)
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp good pesto (I used my Kale and cashew pesto )
6-8 slices of Chorizo or good salami
a small handful of rocket or other salad leaves
Preheat the oven to 180 C
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the leek and sauté for a few minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another few. Turn the heat down if it starts to colour too quickly.
Add the herbs, either chopped or, in the case of thyme or oregano. stalks and all. Season to taste.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for a minute or so. Add the spring onions and wine (if using) or a splash of water. Immediately cover the pan to create steam. Simmer on low until the vegetables are tender.
Turn off the heat, remove any stalky or woody herbs, stir through 1 tbsp Parmesan and set aside
Meanwhile heat a griddle pan, grill plate or grill and cook the Chorizo or salami slices until the juices are flowing and they have crisped up. Don’t overdo them, as they will get cooked again, and you don’t want to break your teeth on them.
Spread the pesto onto each side of the halved croissants.
Divide the grilled Chorizo or salami over the 2 bottom halves of the croisants, then top each with sliced tomatoes, followed by 1/4 of the cheese and the herby leek-mushroom mixture. Finish with the remaining cheese.
Heat in the oven until the cheese has melted, but don’t take it too far. It should be lusciously oozing rather than crisped and brown.
Warm the top halves of the croissants alongside in the oven for the last minute or so.
Remove the croissants from the oven and place the bottom halves onto serving plates. Divide the remaining Parmesan over them and top each with some greenery. Place the croissant hat on top.
Enjoy for breakfast, brunch, lunch, as a snack or, God-forbid, midnight munchies.