Once you understand the principle of putting together a croquet monsieur, there’s no limit to the combinations you can come up with. The grilled cheese and smoked salmon sandwich was inspired by Eric Ripert, the uberchef of Le Bernardin in Manhattan. There are many possibilities for smoked salmon here—Irish, Norwegian, or from Maine. Just be sure it’s cold smoked and thinly sliced.
- 4 thin (no more than ½ inch thick) slices brioche (see Note)
- 1½ tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (about 6 slices)
- 1 thin slice lemon
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced paper-thin (about 8 slices)
- Cooking oil spray
1. Preheat the grill; if your contact grill has a temperature control, preheat the grill to high. Place the drip pan under the front of the grill.
2. Using a pastry brush, brush the slices of brioche on one side with the butter. Place 2 slices of brioche on a work surface, buttered side down. Arrange the salmon slices on top, trimming them so that they come just to the edges of the bread. Place the salmon trimmings in the center of the sandwiches.
3. Seed the lemon slice and remove and discard the rind. Finely chop the lemon, then sprinkle it over the salmon, dividing it evenly between the 2 sandwiches. Arrange the slices of Gruyere on top, trimming them so that they come just to the edges of the bread. Place the cheese trimmings in the center of the sandwiches. Place the remaining 2 slices of brioche on top buttered side up.
4. When ready to cook, lightly coat the grill surface with cooking oil spray. Using a spatula, transfer the sandwiches to the hot grill and gently close the lid. Grill the sandwiches until the bread is browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.