croque monsieur

Croque Monsieur / French Grilled Cheese

the recipe ↓

I haven’t been to France but I have dined at a few French restaurants and I can imagine this is what I would have for brunch the first day I would actually take a trip to Paris. Maybe I should go now…I mean I’m so close nowadays. Actually it’s too wet and cold, I’ll wait until spring hits, but for now I will indulge in creamy coffee along with a divine combination of ham and cheese, toasted to perfection and smothered with a béchamel sauce, the famous croque monsieur, the fanciest and tastiest of grilled cheese sandwiches.  I make mine with the cheese I have in hand, if I don’t have gruyère, I use some nice semi hard gouda, not only is the sandwich just as tasty but it automatically because more affordable to make. I have a goal to make grilled cheeses and croque monsieur with many different types of cheeses, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.  Nice and thick slices of rustic bread are brushed with butter and toasted in the oven to a golden color. The béchamel sauce is created by making a paste from flour and slightly browned butter, whisking in milk and finally all that cheese.  croque monsieur Flavorful dijon adds the right about of heat acts as a glue to the ham that’s placed on top. Again we have more cheese, and everything goes back into the oven until it’s hot and bubbly. The sandwich is then covered with the buttered toast and smothered with béchamel sauce, of course you may use less or more, depending how you like it, and again into the oven. The croque monsieur is ready when the béchamel is bubbly and golden. Top with a fried egg for the madame version, or a complete breakfast as I call it.

Croque Monsieur / French Grilled Cheese - The Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  2. 4 thick slices of bread
  3. 1 tablespoon flour
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1/4 cup grated gruyère or gouda cheese
  6. 2 heaping tablespoons grana padano or any hard cheese
  7. 2 tablespoons dijon or spicy mustard
  8. 2 thick slices of ham, preferably black forest
  9. pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven grill setting to 400F degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter and place on baking sheet. Toast the bread in the oven until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile make the béchamel sauce. Heat remaining butter in a small pan on low heat. Stir in flour to create a paste, continue to cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking continuously, until mixture is smooth. Simmer until the sauce thickens, remove off heat and stir in grana padano cheese. Season béchamel sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. Flip the toasted bread and spread mustard on the untested sides of each slice. Place ham on the mustard side of the bread followed by generous amounts of grated gruyere or gouda cheese. Return to baking tray and bake under the grill until cheese is bubbly and melted.
  5. Remove from oven and top with toasted bread slices from before, with toasted side up and non toasted side pressing against the cheese. Press firmly to ensure the bread sticks to the cheese.
  6. Top with béchamel sauce and return sandwiches to the oven for 5 minutes. The sandwiches should become golden brown and the sauce should be bubbling.
  7. Serve immediately. In this case we topped our breakfast with a fried egg to create a croque madame.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 sandwiches
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