Cook the Book Fridays – Fried Ham and Cheese (or, Croque Monsieur)

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Every time I make Croque Monsieur I wonder why I don’t eat this more often. It is the perfect combination of all good things that could be defined as ethereal and heavenly at once, and is made even better with the best ingredients you can get.

I went the extra mile and made a loaf of Michael Ruhlman’s Dutch Oven Bread from “Twenty”, and used a Swiss Gruyere rather than French, which makes it a little more creamy in taste. I used three thin slices of prosciutto rather than one because, frankly, if you are going to make this, you might as well go whole hog and enjoy the aggregate taste of each ingredient component, and then apologize to your cardiologist later. I take that back. I don’t believe in apologizing for anything I enjoy. Of course I made a token spinach salad using the vinaigrette recommended in the back of Lebovitz’ book, which is said to balance out the richness of this sandwich, but really is just to make you feel better about yourself for enjoying this ooey gooey, cheesy, creamy, porky, toasted bread, buttery, savory, indulgent, perfect, delicious, amazing, sandwich.

Do you see that cheese??? That cream??? That gratuitously buttered bread??? 😍

I think I will go make another.

Check out what other participants in “Cook the Book Fridays” are making (or join us!) here!

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17 Responses to Cook the Book Fridays – Fried Ham and Cheese (or, Croque Monsieur)

  1. haha I love the token salad thing. I think I basically made a salad to go with it for the very reasons. Well, I’d also been traveling and sort of wanted something healthy, too, at the same time as wanting some major comfort food. Yours looks great and I’ll definitely try it with a bit more prosciutto next time…I didn’t even notice, but I also used swiss gruyère so thanks for the tip about it being creamier (of course it is!! I just never thought about it!).

    • Nicole @ The 2nd 35 Years says:

      Yeah… I get it about the traveling. This is great comfort food though, you are right about that!

  2. Swiss gruyere on a French sandwich! Sacrebleu:-)

  3. Having another? I will join you! 😂

  4. Making the bread takes longer than making the sandwich. Kudos to you! It makes you enjoy every bite of this cheesy, gooey, porky and buttery indulgence even more.

  5. One of my absolute favourite things in France!~

  6. Cher says:

    We didn’t even pretend with the salad and just went straight for the sandwich.
    I am sure it was delicious with the homemade bread!

  7. This is yummy! I’ve used sandwich ham slices as I could not find any other type of ham in the area where I live. But it was delicious too! And I’ll be making this again soon!

  8. hawley32 says:

    Ohhhh- that looks do gooey and good!! With my sandwich it was a little more contained, but I still used a fork and knife to eat it. It would be nice to have a salad with it too

  9. Teresa says:

    I’m having salad today, instead. That sandwich was so filling that I couldn’t manage anything else! I agree that it’s worth making the most of each ingredient. What’s the point of an indulgence if you’re not making the most of it?

  10. This was a wonderfully RICH sandwich…that was totally enjoyed in my house! When I served mine for dinner we did a side salad, too! I could only eat half of the croque…very filling. I also used a Swiss Gruyere. Yours looks mouthwatering!

  11. betsy says:

    Have another and another! The token salad did help make the meal feel a little less decadent. I love that you don’t apologize for things you enjoy: a great philosophy for the next 35 years!.

  12. Karen says:

    I agree; I never apologize for things I enjoy. If you are going to indulge, make the most of it! Seeing the photo of your melty sandwich make me want to make it again right now!

  13. This was my first croque! I loaded up the cheese and prosciutto as well 🙂 It was delicious!

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