The Croque Monsieur is a French bistro sandwich, so we bring the French cheese and the Russian ham together on French Pullman bread for an absolutely sublime sandwich.
Not to get political here, but I happen to live in a neighborhood that has Russian style ham, that I love because it has very good flavor, thinly sliced, not watery like most American ham. Then, when I went to get Russian ham, the store I went to didn’t have any, but that had something even better, Moscow style ham. The Moscow ham has a peppered outside and whole pieces of garlic studded inside. When you get a paper-thin slice of ham, you might also get a paper-thin slice of roasted garlic, too. It is unimaginably good!
This kind of truly special ham deserves a really good cheese. You may have heard of Jarlsberg, which is a quite good Swiss type of cheese, firm and nutty in flavor. There is one that I like better, Madrigal, a French cheese, almost the same as Jarlsberg, but has more of a buttery flavor. It’s wonderful sliced thin with the Moscow ham.
I recently started baking Pain de Mie, a French sandwich bread, cooked in a special square Pullman, that makes sandwich bread, great for toasting and grilling. It’s a perfect for this sandwich.
- 4 slices Moscow ham
- 2 sliced Madrigal cheese
- 4 slices Pain de Mie
- 2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or Russian mustard
- 1 teaspoon butter, cut into quarters
- Mix the mustard and mayonnaise together and spread on one side of each slice of bread.
- Put 1 slice of ham on each piece of bread, folded.
- Break apart a slice of the cheese, and put half on the ham, then top with more ham. The pieces of cheese are large, so don't worry about being skimpy.
- Have ready a good cast iron or stainless steel skillet. Heat the skillet on medium.
- Put 2 of the pieces of butte that you cut, let it melt, then put the sandwich on the butter.
- Reduce the flame to low immediately and cook, covered, for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bread has browned. Turn over and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, cut and serve.
- These are excellent with a pickle.