Family Favorite: Swiss Bake

The last recipe I posted was one for Swiss Croque Monsieur.  The following one, which I actually make more frequently, I think of as a Croque Monsieur in a dish.

One reader asked about side dishes to eat with Croque Monsieur, and I did not have any particular ones in mind, but would be happy to have suggestions if you have had Croque Monsieur in Switzerland.  What did you have as a side?

Of course there are many variations on Croque Monsieur, the most frequent being one that uses Bechamel sauce, which in the mid-west where I grew up was plain old white sauce.  That turns a crispy fried sandwich into a gooey over-the-top very filling dish. It is simply a matter of taste whether you add the Bechamel or not.

Swiss Bake

Swiss Bake before baking

My Croque Monsieur in a Dish is sort of like Bechamel, but lighter–no flour added–and airy like a souffle.  And this is one that could go into my “even Edie” file, I think. So easy to make that even non-cooks could tackle it. The recipe below, and the pictures, show a nine-inch dish, but when I had hungry teenage boys at home, I doubled or tripled it and used a 9 x 15 inch Pyrex dish or even a deeper casserole with more layers of bread (and longer baking).  It is very flexible, so there is no reason you could not just make it in an oven-proof bowl for one person with two thick slices of bread and reduced amounts of milk and eggs.

Swiss Bake

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 thick slices white bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 medium slices Gouda cheese (Or use Swiss cheese)
  • 1 cup grated Swiss Cheese (Emmenthaler preferred)
  • 1 cup ham (Diced. Or use thin slices.)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (Or spread Dijon mustard on bread)
  • 1/4 stick butter (Plus more to grease pan)
  • pepper (to taste, white pepper preferred)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pan.
2. Cut half slice of bread in half again. Butter one side of each piece of bread
3. Fill bottom of pan with bread, buttered side up.
4. Sprinkle with dry mustard or spread with Dijon.
5. Place slices of Gouda on bread
6. Sprinkle half of ham pieces on top of cheese
7. Top with other slices of bread, butter side down, and press firmly.
8. Scatter grated cheese and remaining pieces of ham on top.
9. Beat eggs, add milk and pepper and beat again.
10. Pour egg and milk mixture over the bread slices. (Should come about half way up pan.) Put in oven for 45-60 minutes, until puffed up and slightly brown.

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