The Croque Monsieur is a baked or fried boiled ham and cheese sandwich. Traditionally made with Brioche-like bread pieces, or with normal butter bread, but with a soft crust, topped with grated cheese of the same type, slightly salted and peppered.
Ever so often I like to get in the kitchen and try my hand at of some recipes I see while zoning out on the boob tube. I recently watched “It’s complicated” with Meryl Streep and Alec Bladwin where a divorcee falls in love with her home renovations guy (Steve Martin) all the while being sought after by her ex-husband. There was a scene in the film where the ex-husband finds himself eating his ex-wife’s cooking and says “Is this Croque Monsieur? Oh my God I love Croque-Monsieur!
This sandwich is pure heaven, and oh so simple to make. I decided to take a stab at creating my own at home, but not without a little help from epicurious! Follow the recipe below for the most deliciously cheesy, ooey-gooey sandwich around.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
4 slices firm white sandwich bread
4 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
4 ounces sliced Gruyère cheese
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Add nutmeg and bay leaf. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler. Place 2 bread slices on work surface. Top each with half of ham and sliced Gruyère. Top with remaining bread. Heat heavy large skillet over low heat. Brush sandwiches with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Add to skillet and cook until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to small baking sheet. Spoon sauce, then grated cheese over sandwiches. Broil until cheese begins to brown, about 2 minutes or when you hear “the sizzle.”
When making your sauce, you may need a little more milk. I prepared it as the recipe states, but noticed as I whisked that the mixture was a little too thick. I slowly added another 1/2 cup to obtain the perfect consistency.
For those (like me) who don’t eat pork, any of your favorite deli meats can be substituted into your Croque Monsieur recipe. Sometimes it’s more about what you like! I used Boar’s Head Blazin’ Buffalo Chicken which added a little kick to this classic delight.
Find a hearty bread. A bread that can withstand heat and a heavy sauce. You also want something that will crisp up nicely. I chose a crusty Asiago Cheese Loaf from my local grocer.
The final product was paired with a delicious tomato soup and was devoured in seconds. It’s best if you eat your Croque Monsieur while it still hot so you can get the full flavor of the melted Gruyère! —– Enjoy!