The Grilled Cheese. Dressed up, dressed down, however you like it, the grilled cheese can fit just about any occasion. This French version from La Vie Rustic is no exception.
The most well-known French grilled cheese sandwich is the croque monsieur, made with ham and Gruyère on pain au levain, with a béchamel sauce covering it all. My sandwich here captures the spirit of that classic, with roasted red peppers standing in for the ham and no sauce. I love béchamel, but sometimes it’s nice to skip that extra step.
3 slices cut from large loaf pain au levain or other coarse country bread, cut in half, or 6 slices pain de mie (white sandwich bread)
About 4 Tbsp (2 oz/60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ lb (125 g) Comté, Gruyère, or Emmentaler cheese, shredded
1½ roasted red peppers in oil, drained and patted dry
Spread 1 side of each bread slice (half or whole slice, depending on bread type used) with about 1 teaspoon butter, followed by ½ teaspoon of the mustard. Divide the cheese equally among 3 slices, followed by ½ roasted red pepper on each slice. Cover with the remaining 3 bread slices, mustard side down. Butter the top of each sandwich with about 1 teaspoon butter.
Heat a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the sandwiches, buttered side down, in the pan and gently press until the edges begin to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Butter the tops of the sandwiches with about 1 teaspoon butter each, then flip the sandwiches and cook, pressing gently, until the second side is golden, about 2 minutes longer. Serve at once.
Tomatoes are the perfect complement to a grilled cheese. This tomato tart recipe should be next on your list.