Saturday, February 14, 2015

Croque Monsieur

I've had Croque Monsieur a few times, even made a version of it a few times years back. However when we had it for lunch in a Paris café last Spring, it became clear to me that I'd never really gotten it right so I had to learn it again when I got back.

This recipe is primarily based on one I found in a Julia Child cookbook. Although it still has my own twist on it, I think it holds up very well.

Melted butter

Open-facing bread slices

Applewood-smoked ham

Swiss Gruyere cheese sliced

First one side...

...then the other

In the oven

Serves 2, makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices sandwich bread
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 ounces good quality ham, sliced
4 slices (4 ounces) Swiss gruyere or Emmentaler cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat an oven to 300°F.

For each sandwich, open two facing slices like a book. On each slice, spread a fourth of the mayo and a fourth of the mustard. Place a slice of cheese on each slice, then a slice of ham over the cheese on one slice of bread for each sandwich. Combine the bread to make two sandwiches.

Heat a large iron (or other type of oven-proof) skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter is hot but before it can burn, place the two sandwiches side by side in the skillet and press down with a large spatula. Allow them to brown, about 2 minutes. Turn each sandwich over adding the remaining butter to the pan before letting it down. Allow to cook for another 2 minutes.

Move the skillet to the hot oven and let cook about 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, cut each diagonally and serve while still warm.

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