As of this writing, only three days remain before the 4th of July celebrations. We dare not look at the weather report, but cross our fingers for well-behaved, sparse clouds and confident sunshine. After all, this past weekend was supposed to be wet and yesterday was splendid. In any case, the 4th of July is one of those days when high spirits allow good humor to prevail. We’re going to have a party and that’s that.
Here is a first in a series of easy-to-make bouchées or appetizers to share with friends at gatherings throughout the summer. Breads offer a perfect starting point since they are so versatile. Our Bread Serving Suggestions segment says of Rye, the star of today’s recipe, that it “makes a wonderful base for ham and cheese bouchées,” also known as Croque-monsieurs.
Ingredients (for 8 bites). First, the sauce: 2 tbsp unsalted butter. 2 tbsp all-purpose flour. 1 cup milk, warm. For the croque-monsieurs: 4 slices Rye bread, thick. 4 oz sliced ham. 6 oz shredded Gruyère cheese. Honey-Dijon mustard.
Sauce – Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk until fully blended. Add warm milk, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
Bouchées – Toast the slices of bread (in your oven if the slices are too thick for the toaster). Quarter. Spread honey-Dijon mustard on 8 squares, to taste. Portion ham and shredded Gruyère equally on each square, saving about 1/3 of the cheese for sprinkling on top when serving. Top with remaining 8 rye bread squares. Place sandwiched squares on a cookie sheet. Top with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère. Brown under the broiler, removing promptly when sauce begins to bubble.
Serve with a fruit salad.
Planning a catered event? Call Chef Jack @ 802-644-8100.
Our Breads to Take Home –
- White ($4.00)
- Wheat, maple wheat, rye, multi-grain. honey-oat ($4.50)
- Cinnamon raisin ($4.75)
- Baguette ($4.50)