There 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.
BT’s CROQUES MONSIEUR RECIPE
Serves 2 Total Time: 30 Minutes [5 minutes preparation; 25 minutes cooking]
WHAT YOU NEED
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
WHAT TO DO
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.