Croute windsor

Croute windsor

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
1
Photographer
Patricia Niven

When I worked for Tim Hayward at the Cambridge institution that is Fitzbillies, he introduced me to a splendid recipe book by Robin McDouall called Clubland Cooking, which chimed with the old-school baked goods fondly recalled by some of the veteran bakers at Fitzbillies. Like many recipes of their era, most contain lashings of cream, truffles, caviar or brandy, but I love their simplicity. Croute Windsor is based on a savoury from a London club called White’s, although sadly there’s no explanation of how it got its name.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
generous splash light olive oil
1 flat mushroom, peeled and thickly sliced
50g best-quality ham, thickly sliced if possible
clutch chives
A splash sherry
or a squeeze lemon juice
2 table spoons creme fraiche
1 slice bread, to give this the decadence it's craving, I'd go for brioche
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mushroom with a pinch of salt and let it cook down until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the ham into long ribbons about 2 cm wide and chop the chives.
  3. Add the ham to the mushrooms and let it warm through. Gently simmer away any excess liquid, then add the splash of sherry or squeeze of lemon. Once this has reduced to almost nothing, stir in the crème fraîche and simmer until the sauce is coating everything nicely. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then throw in the chives.
  4. Leave to tick away gently while you toast the bread, then pile this marvellous mixture on top.
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