Saturday, December 29, 2018

ChezCindy: Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur

If you can make a grilled cheese sandwich, you can make Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur.  This is simply a fancy name.  Typically, a croque monsieur is made with ham and cheese and topped with a cheese sauce called Mornay, which is a basic white sauce with grated cheese added.  When you are served a good "Croque" you will be eating a rich and delicious sandwich.  Not to be confused with a basic ham and cheese sandwich.  I know it may seem I am getting a little fussy here, but there is a difference.

A smoked salmon croque is a modified version of the traditional French sandwich.  This recipe is inspired by a recipe from Chef Eric Ripert in his book, A Return to Cooking.   I often serve these as an appetizer for dinner parties.  They are always a huge favorite.  The sandwiches would also make a nice lunch served with a crisp green salad.  

Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
8 slices thinly sliced white sandwich bread
8 ounces sliced smoked salmon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
zest and juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Makes 4 sandwiches

Lay out the 8 bread slices.  I use Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread.  Evenly divide the grated cheese onto 4 of the bread slices.  Place 2 ounce of smoked salmon onto the other 4 slices of bread.  Sprinkle the chopped chives over the cheese; divide the lemon zest over the salmon along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Close the sandwiches.  Spread the softened butter on both outer sides of the sandwiches.

Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat.  Place the sandwiches cheese side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Turn over the sandwiches, cooking this side until lightly browned.  Remove from the pan to a cutting board.  Cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal, cut each half again diagonally to make triangles.  Serve hot.

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