Cheese Sandwich Souffle

This is a recipe from my grandmother Ruth that I love for its simplicity. It is nothing more than a ham and cheese sandwich over which you pour some beaten eggs and milk, let it soak and then bake. (I confess that I dressed it up a little by adding the ham...and that my son Sam insists I should have added even more.) Any flavorful sliced melting cheese and any flavorful pork product ? cooked bacon, pancetta, prosciutto, or good old-fashioned country ham ? would work here. This dish can serve as a great light lunch or supper for 2 or ? because it requires so little prep ? as the main attraction at a brunch for a bunch of friends.

Recipe courtesy Sara Moulton, Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Broadway Books, 2002
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr
 
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 8 slices homemade-style white bread, 3 to 4 inches square, crusts removed
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced cheese ( Muenster, provolone, fontina or Gruyere)
  • 2 ounces prosciutto or boiled ham, thinly sliced, optional
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
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Directions

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish and arrange 4 slices of the bread flat on the bottom. Cover each with equal amounts of cheese and ham, if desired. Top with the remaining bread.

Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl and pour in the milk. Season with the salt and blend well. Pour over the sandwiches, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the sandwiches, uncovered, until lightly browned around the edges and set in the center, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.

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