Thanks, and keep reading!!!
If you were to stroll down almost any Parisian boulevard at lunchtime, you will find many French madames et monsieurs eating a meal consisting of cheese and bread, washed down with a glass of wine. Simple is the name of the game. The bread, coming from a local boulangerie (bakery), would be une petite baguette baked fresh that day since, by law, French bread is required to avoid preservatives. The cheese would almost certainly be a strong yet sweet Comte, made from unpasturized cow's milk in the Franche-Comte region of eastern France. The wine, whether red or white, would complement the meal beautifully because most French styles of wine have been adapted to accompany food, rather than to drink on their own like wines from many other countries.
If you were to stroll into my kitchen the morning after a bonne soiree, you would find left overs of stale french bread, a variety of cheeses purchased from my local Trader Joe's, and a few half-drunk bottles of wine just waiting to be used or tossed. I choose to USE!
This recipe is a phenomenal thing to use when your pantry looks like mine after a party, because it's an especially easy thing to do with leftover wine! Plus, it has a fun name! I actually found this recipe on one of my favorite websites: www.realsimple.com. I think they have fabulous recipes (simple!) as well as other interesting things to read and do.
|Photo by Marcus Nilsson, Real Simple|
Drunken Cheesy Bread
butter for the pan
1/2 a baguette, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 of a small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/8 lb of thinly sliced, fully cooked ham
3/4 cup white wine
pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread in a buttered ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch baking dish, or a casserole. Scatter the onion and ham over the bread. Pour the wine over the onion and ham and sprinkle with the pepper and gruyere. Bake until the cheese has melted and begun to brown at the edges, about 20 minutes. Spoon on to individual plates.
The great thing about this recipe is that it's so versatile. Use it as a main dish or serve it along side of some tomato soup. Say you have leftover prosciutto instead of ham, use it. You have leftover chardonnay or sauvignon blanc? Both work just as well. Swiss instead of gruyere? No problem. I feel fairly certain that you could even make it work using Fat Tire Amber Ale and some grated American cheese, kinda like a de-constructed grilled cheese....
This one will not disappoint, I guarantee!