Cheese Croûtes, a Perfect Winter Snack
Anyone who’s every traveled or skied in Switzerland knows we love croûte. Every ski station restaurant offers a wide range of croûtes. But what exactly is a croûte, you might ask.
- A classic cheese croûte from the Refuge de Chesery
Literally, the word means “crust,” but in practice the dish is usually made with day-old bread, onto which a wide array of foodstuff can be placed. The classic croûtes are layers of toasted bread in a shallow baking dish, covered with any combination of ham, bacon, egg, cheese, tomatoes, etc., but never leaving out the cheese.
For these savory dishes, the bread is cut into slices about 1 cm thick and placed in a buttered shallow baking dish. The bread is browned on both sides in the oven, and then slightly dampened with a little white wine or water. Thin slices of a fatty, hard cheese, such as Gruyère or Emmental, are then distributed evenly over the toast, pepper is added (and other ingredients if desired), and the composition is popped back into the oven until the cheese melts and turns brown.
Because of the oven and the hot cheese, winter croûtes are certainly not appropriate for getting your kids in the kitchen, so I’ve come up with this summer version.