Ham and Gruyère French Toast Sandwiches
Dive into the delectable sandwich with a fork and knife or pick it up with your hands, providing there are plenty of napkins close by. Chef Jesse Cool likes to tuck the maple apples in with the ham and cheese, but the fruit can be served on the side, along with a spicy mustard or horseradish sauce.
- 2 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- One 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Eight 1/2-inch-thick hand-cut slices from a loaf of white bread
- Dijon mustard
- 6 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 pound thickly sliced smoked ham
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, water, maple syrup and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Spread 4 slices of the bread with mustard. Top with half of the cheese, the ham and then the remaining cheese.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over low heat. Dip the bottoms of the 4 topped bread slices in the beaten egg until just saturated and transfer to the skillet. Dip the remaining slices of bread on 1 side only and place them, soaked side up, on the sandwiches. Cover the skillet and cook over moderately low heat until the bread is browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the sandwiches, adding more butter to the skillet if necessary. Cover and cook until the second side is browned and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve with the maple apples.
Make Ahead The apples can be refrigerated in the poaching liquid for up to 1 day; drain just before using. Serve With Steamed or sautéed mustard greens.
Smoky, salty ham and sweet, nutty Gruyère are perfectly complemented by the contrasting fruity, tart character of a dry or off-dry Riesling.