My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Monday, February 8, 2010

Traditional Croque Monsieur


Good job boys! I am thrilled the Saints won the Super Bowl. To be honest I'm glad it's over. I don't really care if I never see another pizza, chili, Buffalo wing, or dip recipe. Why don't we have something today a little more belly friendly and soothing to the body.

We can still honor our "Saints" heritage with a Traditional Croque Monsieur. This is the closest version of the original sandwich served in Parisian cafes in the early 1900's. It's a perfect match with a steaming bowl of Tomato Basil or Tomato Rice Soup.

I would not have the nerve to ask you to make homemade tomato soup after all the work on that Super Bowl party. Grab a box of Campbell Tomato Basil Soup or Knorr makes a great one in a package. Doctor it up a little with fresh basil on top and stir in a big chunk of butter, some cooked rice if you have some in the fridge. Now, let's make the sandwich! If you don't stop to get on Facebook this could be a 15 minute meal.

Traditional Croque Monsieur
(Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich)
Serves 4

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 slices sandwich bread
4 ounces (approx.) baked ham, thinly sliced (not shaved)
2 1/2 cups (approx.) grated Gruyere cheese, divided
4 tablespoons butter, softeened

Preheat the broiler. Evenly divide and spread the mustard on 4 slices of bread. Place a few slices of ham, followed by 1/2 cup Gruyere, on the mustard-side of the bread. Cover the cheeese with the remaing slices of bread and spread the butter on the outside of the sandwiches.

Place the sandwiches on an ungreased baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, turn them over, cover with the remaining cheese, and continue cooking until they are crispy and golden brown, about 5 more minutes.

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