Croque-monsieur with Speck ham and gruyere

April 22, 2009 4:22:10 PM PDT
Chef and owner of Sent Sovi in Saratoga, Josiah Slone, shares his recipe for croque-monsieur using Speck ham and gruyere cheese.

Croque-monsieur with Speck Ham and Gruyere Serves 4

For the Béchamel:

  • 2 Large Shallots, finely diced
  • 3 oz Butter
  • 3 oz Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
In a stainless steel pan, cook shallots, butter and flour over medium heat until it starts to become golden brown. Slowly whisk in milk and cream and simmer over low heat stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Pour into a shallow dish, cool and reserve.

To Assemble:

  • 8 slices Artisan Style White Bread, sliced
  • 1 lb Speck ham, prosciutto or other ham, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cup Grated Gruyere Cheese
Divide ingredients into four equal portions (so you have enough for four sandwiches) and assemble each sandwich as follows (from top to bottom)
  • Cheese
  • Béchamel
  • Bread
  • Béchamel
  • Cheese
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Béchamel
  • Bread
The easiest way to do this is to spread two slices of bread with the béchamel, sprinkle with cheese and sandwich the ham in-between them. Then spread more Béchamel on top of the sandwich and sprinkle with more cheese on top of that.

Toast on a cookie sheet in a 400°F oven until golden brown on top and the cheese is melted inside.

About Josiah Slone
Born in San Francisco and raised in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Josiah Slone found his calling at very a young age: While friends played with G.I. Joe action figures, he read The Joy of Cooking from cover to cover; while they watched cartoons he was drawn to the cooking programs of Martin Yan and Julia Child. Despite his strong fascination, Slone's innate talents for math and science led him to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at UCLA. His passion, however, eventually led him to step off his "safe" career path and into the kitchen.

After a beginning stint under the tutelage of Steven Alton King, Slone moved into the rank of sous chef at Renee's in Santa Monica. While there, Slone heard of an opening for head chef at Bloomfield Great House on Jamaica and, after a rigorous five-day assessment in their luxury, Old World kitchens, he landed the position. He was only 21.

From there, Slone was headhunted across the island to the modern outpost Jake's Treasure Beach, where he was allowed to experiment with contemporary creativity and local flavors in the upscale but approachable restaurant, and his intellectual approach to the art of cooking was allowed to thrive. Slone returned to California and American cooking in 2000 at the Peninsula Fountain Grill in Palo Alto. In 2003, he bought and reopened David Kinch's Sent Sovi with his wife Khin Khin.

Now only 30 years old, the thoughtful and genuine young chef sees the art of fine dining as transportive and restorative as theatre, an opportunity for entertainment and refreshment from daily reality. He insists on a warm, all-inclusive atmosphere of expert attentiveness, and uses only fresh ingredients from small farms and artisanal purveyors. Slone particularly excels at tasting menus -- beyond the Chef's Tasting and Vegetarian Tasting Menu, Restaurant Sent Sovi features a Grand Tasting Menu customized to suit individual diet, budget and ingredient preferences. Call to inquire.

Restaurant website: http://www.sentsovi.com


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