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Pardon My French, Croques Monsieur

croques monsieurThere are grilled cheese sandwiches and then there is the Croques Monsieur. With its broiled Gruyère, juicy ham, and creamy béchamel, the Croques Monsieur is the pot of gold at the end of the sandwich rainbow. We even heard that stealing this tasty snack is the real reason the Count of Monte Cristo went to prison. We wouldn’t blame him if he did. Luckily for us the decadent goodness of this concoction can be enjoyed without resorting to crime. Our recipe grew out of fond remembrances of stuffing ourselves full of the delectable sandwiches on the train ride from Nice to Marseille.


Serves 2                                        Total Time: 30 Minutes [5 minutes preparation; 25 minutes cooking]



4 ounces baked ham, sliced thick                                                                Pinch of salt
4 slices white bread                                                                            Pinch of ground black pepper
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated                                                                   Pinch of nutmeg
1 ½ cup Gruyère cheese, grated
1 cup milk, heated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat the oven to 400℉ (204.4℃).


1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour to the melted butter, stirring for approximately 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Slowly pour milk into the saucepan, whisking constantly for 1 minute, or until the sauce thickens.*

2. Remove the saucepan from heat. Add the Parmesan and ½ cup of the grated Gruyère to the saucepan. Stir well, then add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the mixture.

3. Stir again until the sauce is uniform. Set béchamel sauce aside.


1. Place bread slices in a toaster for 5 minutes or until slices are lightly browned.

2. Remove toasts and place each toast slice on a baking sheet. Add ham slices onto one of the toasts. Sprinkle ½ cup Gruyère on top of the last ham slice. Top with the other toast slice.

3. Place sandwich in oven for 5 minutes.


1. Take sandwich out of oven. Spoon the prepared béchamel sauce on top of the sandwich toast. Sprinkle the remaining amount of Gruyère on top of the sauce.

2. Turn on your broiler. Place the sandwich inside the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese on top begins to bubble and turns light brown.

3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

* BT Tip: You can add bay leaves to the béchamel sauce at this stage for added flavor.

12 replies »

  1. When I first went to France a zillion years ago, the basic croque monsieurs that you could buy were very different. We even learned how to make them in French lessons at school. But they were always fired (in butter) until golden brown. Just ham and cheese inside, and no fancy topping. I loved buying them from the street stalls as a teenager in France. Sooo tasty. The béchamel version sounds like a mix of the ones I knew plus cheese on toast.

    • Croque monsieurs in France are the tastiest, even though it really is a variation on the simple ham and cheese sandwich. They used to serve them on some of the longer trains in France and they were always unbelievably delicious.

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