Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Miscellaneous Cheese

So, I have lots of random cheese in my fridge... cheddar, parmesan, farmers, swiss, cheese sticks, and goat. In an effort to utilize some of my cheese, I made croque monsieurs tonight. (They had ham, but you could have easily left it out for a veggie.) I combined a few different recipes, as I didn't find one that I preferred. It is really cold today, so the croque was perfect with sauted green beans and a cheap bottle of vinho verde fronm Portugal. (If you are a cheese lover and you happen to go to London, you cannot miss.....Neils Yard Dairy.)

Croque Monsieur for 2 (My 4 year old passed on this "treat.")

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups hot milk
Pinch of nutmeg
8 ounces Swiss cheese (or whatever you have), grated (2 cups)
Handful freshly grated Parmesan
4 2 inch slices good bread, or whatever bread you have
Dijon mustard
6 slices deli ham (You could also use turkey.)
Preheat the broiler.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a whisk for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper to taste, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Swiss and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place slices on baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes. Turn each slice and broil for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Swiss. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Spoon cheese sauce over tops of sandwiches, sprinkle with the remaining Swiss, and broil the sandwiches for approx. 5 minutes-- until the topping is lightly browned.

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