Classic Croque Monsieur
Why I Love This Recipe
Adapted from the Classic Version of the Croque Monsieur
For the Gourmet Sandwiches Cooking Class - 107
LOVE the Croque! This sandwich dates back to Paris, 1910. It's simple: make a great Béchamel, use good bread, great cheese, and tasty ham. If you are counting calories, just move along now. This sandwich isn't for you.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 cup wine-for the cook
8 slices good bread, such as batard, sourdough or French
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter + more (melted) for the bread
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Big Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2 - 1/2 cup Gruyere or Emmental cheese, grated (about 8 oz.)
12 oz. thinly sliced Deli ham
Preheat the oven to 400. Brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter and toast until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
Make the Béchamel Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring until combined and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook; whisking, until mixture simmers and thickens; about 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk until melted. Remove from heat, Set aside.
Preheat oven to Broil. Rewarm the Béchamel. Spread mustard on the untoasted side of 4 of the pieces of bread. Top those 4 slices with 3 oz. ham and about 1/4 cup of the cheese and the other piece of bread. Top each sandwich with 1/4 cup of the Béchamel (making sure to cover the edges) and the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Put in the oven and broil until brown and bubbly and cheese has melted.
(Alternately you can assemble the sandwiches and grill then in a skillet then finish them in the oven with the Béchamel)
*Variations: Croque Madame – Add Poached Egg
Croque Provencal – Add Tomatoes
Croque Auvergunat – Replace Gruyere with Blue Cheese
Croque Hawaiian – Add Pineapple
Croque Norwegian – Replace ham with Salmon
And MY FAVE - Croque Tamara – Replace Ham with Smoked Turkey, add Pears