Recipe: Croque-monsieur (grilled ham and cheese)

Total time: about 10 minutes

Servings: 2 sandwiches

Note: Although a classic croque-monsieur is served with a sauce Mornay, this is a simpler version, with snipped fresh chives for garnish. This recipe assumes the use of an electric panini press.

4 slices white sourdough bread

4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated or very thinly sliced

4 ounces Black Forest ham, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chives, snipped with a pair of scissors

1. Turn on the panini grill. While the grill heats, assemble the sandwich: Spread the cheese equally over two pieces of bread. Layer the ham equally over the cheese. Place the remaining slices of bread on top.

3. When the grill is hot (the light will turn on), place the sandwich (or both sandwiches, depending on the size of the bread and your panini grill) on the grill. Press the top of the grill down firmly, making sure that the top and the bottom of the grill are parallel.

4. Cook, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are golden. Lift the top and remove from the grill, cut into quarters, stack and top with chives. Serve immediately.

Each sandwich: 528 calories; 34 grams protein; 46 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 23 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 92 mg. cholesterol; 1,140 mg. sodium.

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