Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fear not the Croque Monseiur

I've been dying to try these ever since the day my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook arrived in the mail. I noticed this tasty recipe for a unique ham and cheese sandwich. Everyday street food in France it said, but wow, the name, Croque Monseiur; I wasn't even sure how to pronounce it. Why is it that a simple recipe, given a complicated sounding french name, makes you immediately think it's difficult to make? Well this is not a hard recipe to master. It also isn't diet food. But what it is, according to my husband, is the best tasting sandwich he's ever had. Huh, that's saying something considering he's quite a sandwich-man.

While driving to the Cheese Shop to pick up the gruyere and ham, I shared with my kids about what we'd be making and why I'd waited so long to make it. I explained how I let the name alone intimidate me but how we were going to prove just how simple it was to make this tasty french treat. The kids decided if it was so easy that they could make it themselves. I would basically just supervise. They were so excited. I did help with cutting and flipping the sandwiches in the skillet. After all we didn't want any shortened fingers or sandwiches on the floor. They did a great job and enjoyed the process. I loved seeing that sense of accomplishment and ownership come over them. "Hey Mom, these would be really good to pack for our school lunches," my 11 year old said. "Mmm, yeah!" my 8 year old agreed.

I thought it would be fun to share this great recipe video tutorial from videojug. Though I do want to mention the recipe in Artisan Bread called for spreading a mixture of dijon mustard and mayonnaise on the inside of each slice of bread before adding the ham. Otherwise I think the sandwich would be fairly dry. We used Smart Balance Omega Plus light mayo because it has such a great flavor. We also included a slice of fresh garden tomato which made the flavor of the sandwich come alive. We added the tomato right before serving so the sandwich wouldn't get soggy. I loved the fact that watching the video not only taught me how to make it, but also how to pronounce it!

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