CROQUE MONSIEURS (sautéed ham and cheese sandwich, “croaked monsieurs” at Halloween, for one sandwich, four appetizers)
2 thin slices(1/4 inch thick) fresh white sandwich bread of the best homemade-type quality
2 to 3 tablespoons clarified butter (butter melted, skimmed, the clear liquid poured off the milky residue – have a small saucepan of it for several sandwiches)
2 thin slices (1/8 inch thick) Mozzarella cheese or rather soft Swiss
1 thin slice (1/8 inch thick) cooked ham, the dimension of the bread
1. For each sandwich, lay a slice of bread on your work surface, brush it with the clarified butter, cover with a slice of cheese, a slice of ham, another slice of cheese, then brush one side of the second slice of bread with butter, and lay it buttered side down on top of the sandwich. Now press the sandwich together firmly, leaning on it with the palm of your hand. Trim off the crusts and press down again on sandwich.
2. Film a frying pan with 1/8 inch of clarified butter, heat to bubbling and brown the sandwiches rather slowly(2 to 3 minutes) on each side, so the cheese will melt. Add more butter as needed.
3. For appetizers, cut the sandwiches in quarters or eighths.
NOTE: If done ahead, arrange on a baking sheet and set aside, covered with plastic wrap. Uncover and heat in a 375* oven 5 minutes or so before serving.
For CROAKED MONSIEURS at Halloween, use pumpernickel bread and add a thin layer of sauerkraut, dripping out on the sides.