About the Recipe
I found myself the lucky recipient of some leftover Honey Baked Ham from my mom - just a few slices, but that was enough to make one of my favorite dishes. I also had a leftover loaf of ciabatta bread that I used for this recipe. YUM.
I made this in a 14" skillet, which is a pretty large portion. But you can always put any leftovers away for later. I ate almost the whole thing. I was hungry. Don't judge me.
Want to make this Croque Monsieur into a Croque Madame? Just make a sunny side up egg and put it on top! The perfect combo? Make this and have a light salad on the side.
ALSO, if you have made the cream sauce for the Chicken Divan and it's in your freezer, you can pretty much use that for this. Maybe just add some milk to it in a skillet to get the right consistency and don't forget the Dijon! That's very important in this recipe.
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Salt & Pepper
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup milk
6 slices white bread
3-6 slices good ham
3 slices swiss cheese or 1/2 cup shredded gruyere
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until completely blended. Slowly add in milk and allow to thicken while whisking constantly (sauce should coat the back of a spoon). Take off heat. Add a pinch of nutmeg, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and whisk together.
Grease 14" cast iron pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. Put 3 slices of bread (without the crust) on the bottom. Layer ham on top.
Spread 1/2 of sauce over ham.
Add another layer of bread. Whisk together 1 egg with 1/2 cup of milk. Pour mixture over bread. Add layer of ham and another layer of sauce, spreading to cover the ham. Top with cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley if you want to!
What I'm Reading
I'm not gonna lie - this is a long one. I didn't realize how long until I had been reading it for a while and looked down at my progress on my Kindle and I was only 20% through it. But it's worth the time. And I'm not always a fan of books that go back and forth in time (I feel like that's really overdone these days), but I didn't mind it in this one.
Here's a summary:
After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There--after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes--Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.
A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two women's fates--and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times--collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, Great Circle is a monumental work of art, and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.