croque monsieur

Posted on May 4, 2011. Filed under: Brunch, Dinner, Sandwich | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Every once in a while, I have been known to over-commit and not really give myself time for things like cooking.  Cooking is a great stress reliever for me and now that I’m trying to keep up with this whole blogging thing, I feel an added level of responsibility to make sure I post within a reasonable time frame.  That said, I had EVERY intention of making Merguez Couscous tonight as I was way overdue!  So after meeting Stella (an italian spinone) – my new friend whom I will be dog-sitting this weekend, I headed to Whole Foods.  Unfortunately for all of us (especially Rick who was planning on picking up a to-go container of dinner), the store was not carrying merguez today.  Merguez is a spicy lamb sausage that is not always the easiest thing to find but WF has always seemed to have it whenever I’ve needed it.  Alas, I told Rick I could make it with chorizo as the closest possible not really acceptable substitute but he made the better decision to wait until I could find the real thing.

So here I am, merguez-less and needing dinner.  Lucky for me, I happened to pick up the ingredients for a croque monsieur this weekend since I’ve been craving a taste of Paris lately.  As I described it to a friend, a croque monsieur is basically a ham and cheese sandwich on crack.  But it’s SO much better.  Because it’s toasted, covered in Mornay (read: cheese) sauce and broiled to bubbly goodness.  It would be great with a nice light salad and a glass of wine just like at a cafe.  Or with a big glass of crystal light pink lemonade while watching the Bruins kill the Flyers.  Guess which one was me.

I made two sandwiches with the ingredients but did have leftover Mornay sauce which is now in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
½ tsp kosher salt
pinch of nutmeg
6 ounces of Gruyere, grated (2.5 cups)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
4 slices of bread (I used sourdough)
Dijon mustard
4 oz of ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat oven to 400F

Mornay sauce:  Melt butter in a small sauce pan over low heat.  Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the hot milk until the sauce thickens.  You will probably need to increase the stove heat a little bit.  Whisk continuously and once the sauce is thickened, take it off the heat and add 1/4 cup of the Gruyere and the Parmesan, the salt and pepper and some nutmeg (I love the freshly grated stuff).  Stir everything together and let sit.

While cooking the sauce, place the sliced bread on a cookie sheet and toast for 5 minutes on one side, then flip and toast the other side for 2-3 more minutes.  (I actually did it a bit longer because we all know how well my oven toasts).

Now it’s time to ASSEMBLE!  First – put some foil on your pan or you will regret it.  Spread a thin layer of Dijon on each slice of bread (or just one slice per sandwich if you aren’t a big mustard fan) and add one or two slices of ham to two of the slices of bread.  Top the ham slices with half of the Gruyere cheese and top with another slice of toasted bread.

And now we get to the glorious part. Take your cheese sauce and slather the top of each sandwich, maybe even let it run over the sides a little bit.  Sprinkle the remaining Gruyere on the sandwiches and bake for 5 minutes.  Turn the broiler on and broil the sandwiches for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.  Serve hot.
SO GOOD!

(and I promise – the merguez couscous is coming soon!)

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2 Responses to “croque monsieur”

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Hi this is late, but I LOVE Croque Monsieurs. Thanks for the recipe, will try it out soon. Your picture looks delicious. Screen licking delish…

Eug – so good! Definitely put them in the rotation. You will not regret it 🙂


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