EXTRAORDINARY GRILLED CHEESE
This flavorful appetizer comes straight from the mountains of Jura, where Comté cheese
reigns supreme. Hearty yet sophisticated, it fits with the craggy mountains where hikers
crowd the slopes in summer and winter brings cross-country and downhill skiers.
Sometimes I make this for lunch, for it is popular with all ages. You must use a hearty
bread, either Sourdough Bread or a pain de campagne with a close crumb, so that it can
soak up the custard without falling apart. Cut the "croûtes" in pieces, as described,
or serve the sandwiches whole, along with a crisp green salad.
Try a Vin de Jura or a Riesling alongside.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
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2 large eggs
1 cup lightly fruity white wine, such as Vin de Jura or Riesling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 long slices sourdough bread, cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
2 cups grated Gruyère or Comté cheese
1/2 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
||Whisk together the eggs, the wine, a generous amount of salt, and a touch of pepper
in a small bowl; then transfer the mixture to a shallow dish that's large enough to hold
the bread slices in one layer. Place the bread slices in the dish and leave them there
for several minutes so they become thoroughly soaked with the mixture (without falling
apart). Turn the slices over, if necessary, so they evenly soak up the mixture.|
||Heat the butter and oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 3 slices of the
bread. Top each slice with one third of the grated cheese, and then with a slice of the
||Cook on one side until the bread is golden and the cheese is half melted, about
3 1/2 minutes (adjust the heat as needed so the bread turns a lovely gold color). Turn
and cook on the other side until the bread is golden and the cheese is fully melted, an
additional 3 1/2 minutes.|
||Meanwhile, mince the parsley.
||Remove the sandwiches from the skillet, and cut them crosswise into 1-inch-wide
(2 1/2 cm) strips. Arrange them on a warmed platter and sprinkle with the minced parsley.|
Excerpted from FRENCH FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK copyright © 1996 Susan Herrmann Loomis.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.