Croque Monsieur is a very fancy name. The French always make things sound super duper fancy. Although, I wont lie…I do like them for that reason. The simple truth is this: these delectable ham and cheese sandwiches that I speak of are just that…ham and cheese sandwiches.
Simple ham and cheese sandwiches sold as fast-food or quick-snacks in french cafes. Yes, there is a bechamel…and yes, there is some gruyere in there. Those facts should never scare us away, but lure us in! The best part of all is in the name itself. Croque Monsieur is literally translated as the “Mister Crunch” sandwich. I like that much better. How I would love to go to france and ask for a mister crunch, to-go!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart:
- Serves 6-8
- 1 1/4 cup of whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves, divided
- Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 long ciabatta loaf (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard
- 3/4 pound of sliced ham
- 4 cups of Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces), grated
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (1 ounce), finely grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in bottom third. Heat the milk in a pan over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Melt the butter in another small saucepan over medium heat; add the flour, whisk to combine, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme, then gradually whisk in milk. Simmer the bechamel 2 minutes, whisking. Remove from heat, and add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Cut the top crust off bread; slice loaf in half horizontally. Fill sandwich with mustard, ham, and half the Gruyere. Toast on a baking sheet until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Preheat broiler. Spread the bechamel on top, and sprinkle with remaining the cheese. Broil until golden brown and bubbling, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven; garnish with pepper and the remaining thyme. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
Have you ever made a Croque before? Have you ever HAD a Croque from France? Either way, please make these and enjoy all the cheesy goodness!