I've moved! Follow me over to The Balanced Baker.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BB: Croque Monsieur

I have to admit, upon reading the title of the second Barefoot Bloggers recipe for April, I had noooo idea what it was. The lack of a photo was not helping my cause. A simple read through the directions revealed that croque monsieur is simply the devil, in ham-and-oh-so-much-cheese-sandwich form. Given we are a no ham house-sold, I decided these would have to be glorified grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato. YUM.

This definitely falls under the category of "decadent." Let's see: bread, layered with cheese, layered with more bread, slathered with cheese sauce, layered with MORE cheese. Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org

Though I now know that I mistakenly left out the parmesan, I thought the cheese sauce itself was a little bland. Maybe I just under-seasoned it.(No worries, I added the parmesan after the final layer of gruyere - it was not left out!) I could have done without the mustard, but I get why it's there given the original concept of ham being present. We used sourdough bread, which gave it a great additional flavor. Overall, you can't go wrong with lots of cheese and bread! Very delicious!

Croque Monsieur
Chosen by Kathy of All Food Considered
Source: Barefoot in Paris on page 48

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups hot milk
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Pinch nutmeg
* 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
* 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
* Dijon mustard
* 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin (I substituted tomato slices)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.


Suzie said...

Your photos look great. I love cheese and tomato sandwiches but I think I will have to cut teh cheese a little next time.

Anonymous said...

Oh cheesy, yummy goodness!!!

Joelen said...

This looks delicious! I really need to pick up Ina's Paris cookbook - such great recipes I've seen in there, including this one!

chocolatechic said...

Some sliced turkey would be a great substitution.

I used swiss instead of the Gruyere.

Kate said...

Nicely done, your sandwiches look fantastic, and I love the idea of cheese and tomato, only. That will be so lovely with summer tomatoes.

EmmyJMommy said...

I am finding so many terrific substitutions by going through everyone's blog posts! I love the vegitarian style...no meat, and I bet the tomato slices on it were just the perfect bit of yumminess!!!

Cookie said...

Those look SO yummy! My honey's fav food is grilled cheese sammies and always requests tomatoes inside. BTW my Platinum Chef Challenge #13 is up. I'd love it if you could join!

Rebecca said...

Yeah, that color is freaking fantastic. Don't make me hate you! ;)

Leslie said...

What a beautiful sandwich! Really, this looks perfect. We don't do ham either, so I made this one with turkey and it was great.

~Amber~ said...

Excellent photos. They make me want to crawl right through the monitor and have a bite.