After my recent interview with Tana Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay's wife, I told her I'd be trying the ham, spinach and Gruyere croissant ring from her new cookbook "Home Made." She leaned in, as if she'd be letting me in on a family secret and said, sincerely, "It's delicious."
And she was right. When I pulled the croissant ring out of the oven, after serving leek and potato soup, along with an arugula, cherry tomato salad with raspberry vinaigrette, pecans and Stilton cheese, my husband's eyes widened. It looked like I'd slaved all night. Truth was, while it looks impressive, all it takes is chopping up a bunch of ingredients and laying the filling atop the croissant dough, folding the dough, then baking it. In this case, the ingredients include two packs of croissant dough; blanched spinach; 10 slices of honey-roasted ham, cut into strips; 10 halved cherry tomatoes; 5 chopped spring onions; 10 small button mushrooms, sliced into quarters; 50g of arugula; 5 tbsp mascarpone cheese; 50g Gruyere cheese, finely grated; black pepper. The result is a crusty golden croissant ring, cherry-red tomato halves and oozing sweet mascarpone cheese peeking out of the crevices. While I'm not usually a fan of Gruyere cheese, or any Swiss cheese for that matter, it gave the croissant ring a subtle smoky flavour rather than masking it.
I didn't make any, everything was easy to find. Please note, however, that British packs of croissant dough may contain more or less dough than the Pillsbury ones we find in Canada do. I ended up with just enough leftover dough to make an extra croissant and even more leftover filling. I think you can safely cut the recipe for the filling by a third and still have enough.
Would I make this again?
Probably next week. It was that good. It also passed the leftover test although the dough wasn't quite as crusty and crispy after being microwaved as when I first took it out of the oven.
Next time, however, I may try different ingredients for the filling - maybe feta, roasted red peppers, olives and spinach; or even chorizo sausage, tomato, kale. Really, once you have the technique down, the possibilities are limitless. And it's also a sneaky way to include leafy green vegetables.
Grade: Five stars out of five. This may sound like fawning but even after I ate this for lunch the next day, I was wishing I had packed more.
On a side note, this cookbook is fabulous. It's not Tana Ramsay's first cookbook for time-pressed families, nor will it be the last, I'm sure. Her tone is casual and relatable as she details easy-to-follow recipes, includes tips on freezing recipes, and recounts family anecdotes.
As the mother of four, she understands how home cooks must adapt to challenges as they arise. And also as the wife of one of the most famous chefs in the world, one who made a career out of perfection and fresh food, it warms the very cockles of my heart that this idealism is alive and well in his own household.
Other recipes I'd like to try include: Grilled cod with home-made red pesto; spring greens with nutmeg butter; and banana tarte tatin. I'll keep you posted if I do.