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    La Belle Cuisine - Cookbooks

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion


"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook
in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice
and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

~ Laurie Colwin


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Our goal is to present a recipe from one of our newest cookbooks on a regular
basis. In addition, we are preparing a list of our all-time favorite cookbooks (many
of which are now out-of-print) and in time will present recipes from those as well.


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Barefoot in Paris:
Easy French Food
You Can Make at Home

Copyright © 2004 by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

Cooking, Food & Wine
Croque Monsieur

Serves 4 to 8

“One day, my friend Frank Newbold and I found ourselves on the way to the
Louvre at lunchtime. We passed Café Ruc, which is one of the Costes brothers’ restaurants, and spotted two seats outside under the awning. They serve tradi-
tional French food, but with a modern twist. This was inspired by the delicious
croque monsieurs we ate there. These sandwiches are on the small side, so
serve one or two per person, depending on appetites.”

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
(Ina uses Pepperidge Farm white bread)
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees [F].
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce
is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated
Gruyère, and the Parmesan and set aside.

 To toast the bread, place the slices on two baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another two minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyère. Top with another
piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle
with the remaining Gruyère, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes.
Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is
bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Featured Archive Recipes:
(from our cookbook collection, of course!)
A Bastille Day Menu (from 'Simply French')
Ina Garten's Banana Crunch Muffins
Ina Garten's Coffee and Granola
Ina Garten's Grilled Lemon Chicken with Satay Dip
Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetable Torte
Crustless Onion Quiche (Patricia Wells)
Pan Bagna ("Bathed" Provençal
Sandwich - Patricia Wells)

Quiche - from the Simple to the Sublime
Recipes from the Heart of France (Roger Vergé)
Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée
Tea Sandwiches


Our all-time favorite cookbooks
Food and Art (Artist's Cookbooks)
Recipes from out-of-print (or hard to find) cookbooks


Index - Cookbook Features
Classic French Recipes
Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index

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