Michael R. Morgan
The ham and cheese sandwich is a staple of youngsters’ lunch boxes and refined bistros’ menus - there’s an infinite number of ways to enjoy this classic sandwich. Here are six easy favorites that feature our delicious French Cheese.
The French version of a classic toasted ham and cheese, the croque monsieur can easily be made at home to the same delicious standards you’ll find in bistros all over the world. Simply select a French gourmet cheese of your choice – sliced Supreme or grated Etorki work well. Gather some sliced ham, your favorite spicy or Dijon mustard and a loaf of sliced French bread. Spread butter on the bread slices and broil them on each side until the desired toast level. Apply the mustard, ham, grated or sliced cheese and you’ve got a bistro-quality sandwich that is suitable as a standalone meal or can be cut into small squares and served as an appetizer.
Gourmet option: Prepare a béchamel sauce, spoon on top of the sandwiches, then bake for a few minutes to add a crispy flavorful twist.The Croque Madame
Follow the above suggestions, and then add a fried egg on top to create the open-faced version of the classic gourmet French ham and cheese.The Breakfast Buddy
Skip the bland breakfast cereal and start your day off with a little gourmet flare - scramble an egg and place it atop some Ile de France Brie cheese and ham. It won’t take much longer than pouring milk over raison bran. Use whole-grain toast and enjoy with a glass of juice and you’ll have plenty of energy to get you through the day.The Quick Bite
Piecing together a quick sandwich to pack along for work or school doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with a boring, tasteless chore of a meal. Substitute the American cheese slice for some creamy Ile de France Camembert. Leave the Wonder Bread behind in favor of a baguette and viola: true bistro taste in the time it takes to brush your teeth! Try adding some raspberry or peach jam for an added element of flavor.The Cheese Monger
For the true cheese lover, a ham and cheese sandwich offers plenty of room to indulge. Try doubling, or even tripling the cheese! Ham, after all, goes with plenty of fromage. Some creamy luxurious Supreme cheese or Ile de France Brie cheese can be combined with brand* Emmental cheesefor a delightful sandwich that packs plenty of protein to boast energy all day. Include some sliced tomatoes in this sandwich for an added kick, or grill each side on a frying pan to create a gourmet-infused grilled-cheese treat!The Veggie Delight
Ham and cheese on their own or with a fine sauce makes a great sandwich, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other additions. Try marinating slices of tomato, red pepper, cucumber and squash in a bowl with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Then spread some mayonnaise on a baguette, add a French cheese such as Brie, Camembertor St. Albray, place ham on top and serve cold. Pack this sandwich for a picnic and bring along some grape juice and you’ll be sure to have a refreshing snack!
* Ile de France goat cheese was awarded the 2008 ChefsBest award for the best tasting imported goat cheese. The selection was made by a panel of independent chefs.