A popular quick snack in France, the Croque Monsieur is a delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In Paris, the Croque Monsieurs I had were covered with grated cheese, resulting in a ridiculously cheesy sandwich-dare I say, too cheesy? To lighten the sandwich up a little bit I left off the extra grated cheese, and added some cilantro to give it a fresher flavor. This is a Croque Monsieur, California style.

* serves 1
2 slices of sourdough bread
sliced cooked ham, enough to cover one piece of bread
thinly sliced Monterey Jack cheese, enough to cover both pieces of bread
a few sprigs of cilantro, washed and torn into pieces
1 tsp olive oil

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it spreads across the surface of the pan. Place the pieces of sourdough side by side, and lay the pieces of cheese across each slice of bread. Put the ham on top of one of the slices of bread with cheese, and sprinkle cilantro on both pieces.

When the cheese has melted enough to hold the ham in place, put the slice of bread with just cheese and cilantro on top of it, cheese side in. Turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Flip the sandwich from time to time, and press down on it with a spatula. Cut in half before serving.