By Jill Gibson
April 28, 2010

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Serves 4

Restaurateur Jacky Robert (pictured), of Petit Robert Bistro restaurants, was raised on these ham and Gruyere sandwiches, called croque-monsieurs, which his mother baked in a hot oven. The simple technique works quite well and produces golden sandwiches.

8 slices thin-sliced, high-quality white bread
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces aged Gruyere, shredded (2 cups)
4 slices baked ham
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Spread the mustard on 4 slices of bread. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Set a slice of ham on the cheese.

3. Cover with remaining slice of bread and press firmly. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with the butter and place on the baking sheet.

4. Bake for 5 minutes, turn the sandwiches, and bake another 5 minutes or until they are golden on both sides.