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Croque Monsieur – A Glorious Ham and Cheese!

Croque Monsieur – A Glorious Ham and Cheese!

This is the ultimate ham and cheese sandwich – a knife and fork version with layers of gooey cheese covered in a rich and velvety béchamel sauce!

We typically think of serving a ham and cheese sandwich for a light lunch or casual dinner dish but this is no ordinary ham and cheese. Inside the lightly toasted bread you’ll find tender slices of ham with a nutty Gruyère cheese accented with a bright and tangy Dijon mustard.

Then the sandwich is covered with a creamy sauce that is loaded with more Gruyère and Parmesan. Finally, it’s topped with just a bit more shredded Gruyère and baked until it’s hot and bubbly!

The Croque Monsieur can also be served as a breakfast sandwich in the form of a Croque Madame. It’s the same delicious sandwich topped with a fried egg making it perfect for brunch – or lunch – or dinner!

There are a number of steps in making this sandwich but don’t be dismayed. Lightly toast the bread before you start then cover and set aside. The sauce starts with a béchamel sauce, a basic white sauce that can be made in advance. Just gently reheat before you add the cheese and assemble the sandwiches.

An absolutely divine sandwich – a delicious gift from the French – Merci beaucoup!

Croque Monsieur

4 large slices of bread, or 8 regular slices

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk, room temperature or warmed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2-1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, about 6 ounces, divided

1/2 cup shaved Parmesan or Parmesan and Fontina blend*

2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

6 ounces sliced ham

Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and toast in a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes, turn and toast for another 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the béchamel sauce.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes.

Pour in the milk and whisk into the butter and flour until smooth. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.

Add the kosher salt, the black pepper and the nutmeg along with the 1/2 cup of the Gruyère cheese and the Parmesan. Stir to blend together and remove from the heat.

Spread one side of all the bread slices with the Dijon mustard. Layer one half of the bread slices with ham, sprinkle one cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese over the ham.

Top each with the remaining bread slices. Spread the sauce over the tops of each sandwich to cover. Finish by topping each with the remaining Gruyère cheese.

Place the sandwiches on a parchment or foil lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400-degrees for 5 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

For a Croque madame top the finished sandwich with a fried egg. Serve warm!

*Sartori makes a beautiful Tuscan cheese blend of shaved Parmesan and Fontina.

Croque Monsieur, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 23, 2018
: 6-8

This is the ultimate ham and cheese sandwich – a knife and fork version with layers of gooey cheese covered in a rich and velvety béchamel sauce!

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 large slices of bread, or 8 regular slices
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2-1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, about 6 ounces, divided
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan or Parmesan and Fontina blend
  • 2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 ounces sliced ham
Directions
  • Step 1 Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and toast in a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes, turn and toast for another 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the béchamel sauce.
  • Step 2 In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes. Pour in the milk and whisk into the butter and flour until smooth, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  • Step 3 Add the kosher salt, the black pepper and the nutmeg along with the 1/2 cup of the Gruyère cheese and the Parmesan. Stir to blend together and remove from the heat.
  • Step 4 Spread one side of all the bread slices with the Dijon mustard. Layer one half of the bread slices with ham, sprinkle one cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese over the ham. Top each with the remaining bread slices.
  • Step 5 Spread enough sauce over the tops of each sandwich to cover. Finish by topping each with the remaining Gruyère cheese.
  • Step 6 Place the sandwiches on a parchment or foil lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400-degrees for 5 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  • Step 7 For a croque madame top the finished sandwich with a fried egg, preferably cooked over easy.


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