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  • Take a chance on cheese

    OK, the title of the post is a little groan worthy. But you know you love Abba. And  Erasure. (You really should go check out both videos, it will make your day a little gigglier.)


    Yesterday I hosted book club at my home, and as with any good gathering, we had to have food. We read To Kill A Mockingbird, and as it is full of mentions of food, we decided to have refreshments that were mentioned in the book. If you’ve read the book (and if you haven’t, go read it!), you’ll remember the scene toward the end where Scout is dressed as a ham for a play.  So of course, we had to have something with ham, in honor of Scout. :)

    I had something roughly in mind, but when I came across this recipe, I decided to go for it, despite the fact that I don’t like Dijon mustard and am somewhat afraid of Gruyere cheese.




    So good.

    This was great as a savory refreshment (our other offering was angel food cake with strawberries- definitely on the sweet side), but it would be absolutely divine as a rainy day lunch.

    Or dinner.

    Or both.

    I might make it again tomorrow.

    So without any further ado, and with all credit to Ina Garten, the lovely Barefoot Contessa herself, the recipe.

    Wait- a little further ado. I really do suggest sticking to the recipe, just to try it. Don’t just substitute Cheddar like I always do. Go with the Dijon. Splurge a little. It’s so worth it.

    Oh, and I’ll also mention, the recipe says this makes 6 servings.  Just so you know.  If you were just making it for yourself, I’d only make 1/2, it doesn’t keep well.



    • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 pound black forest ham, sliced
    • 1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese, sliced
    • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

    Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10 by 12 inches. Place it on a sheet pan and brush the center with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

    Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm.

    NOTE: I baked it for 25 minutes at 400 degrees (I saw it suggested multiple times in the comments) and it came out perfectly. Your oven may vary.

    3 Responses to “Take a chance on cheese”

    1. Kath says:

      Glad you’ve grown to like Gruyère. It’s still my #1 favorite cheese. I found a fabulous old omelette recipe that calls for it here:

    2. Hilary says:

      Yes, I do love Abba (as in, a 4 CD collection set kinda love). Hehehe.

    3. Carolyn says:

      You can use Gruyere for this simplified Raclette, too. The cheese and potatoes are the main thing. Other ingredients can be varied: Ham or other hot or cold meat to the side instead of bacon, for example. You can add some veggies, too. I don’t know that the salt and pepper are even necessary, but I would put them on the potatoes before the cheese if I used them.

      And Gruyere is also used for fondue.