May 14 2011

Croque Monsieur

Published by at 10:14 am under Sandwich

croque monsieur

Our projected high for the day is a good 35 degrees cooler than it was just a couple of days ago. It seems we can never find the happy medium that would make a perfect spring day.

tasty bite

But, I have to confess, I’m okay with the cooler temperatures right now. The near-record highs we experienced this week…well, I’m just not ready for that, yet. Though “normal” weather right now would be my preference, I don’t mind getting to make a few more “cool weather” meals.

making the rouxmilk has thickened

This sandwich is the perfect “grilled ham & cheese” for such weather: it’s filling, it’s satisfying, and a crisp salad rounds it out perfectly. A glass of wine wouldn’t hurt, either. Just sayin’.

adding cheesewhisking in the cheese

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, no doubt you are well aware of my love affair with Gruyere. Add a little Parmesan, and I’m in heaven.

assembling sandwichesslathered in sauce...

Though I could do without the ham (I would love to substitute turkey – ham is just too salty for me), I adored this sandwich. If you’re a cheese lover, you must try it.

cheese on top of cheese sauce

Croque Monsieur
adapted from Barefoot in Paris

Print Recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot 2% milk (I use lactose-free)
1 teaspoon salt*
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed**
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced

Preheat oven to 400*F.

Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the flour, stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly add the hot milk, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Toast bread (either in a toaster, or by placing on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in the oven, then flip slices over and bake 2 more minutes).

Spread a thin layer of mustard on half the toasts, then a slice of ham, and a sprinkle of Gruyere. Top each with a plain toast and slather the sandwiches with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the sandwiches with the remaining Gruyere. Bake for 5 minutes, then place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve immediately.

*I find ham to be extremely salty, so a teaspoon of salt in the cheese sauce was too much for me, especially considering Parmesan is a salty cheese. Use caution when salting the sauce!

**Ina recommends Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread for this recipe. Unsure if I’ve ever purchased white sandwich bread in my life, I took her advice and was happy I did – the slices are small – perfect for a rich sandwich.

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