Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers-Croque Monsieur

I was really excited about this month's Barefoot Blogger pick by Kathy at All Food Considered. About a year or so ago I had my first Croque Monsieur sandwich and was immediately taken. Surprisingly so, because I am not much of a ham sandwich or gooey cheese sandwich girl. Every now and then when the mood hits I pick up one at a nearby French cafe or even La Madeline's. This was a really easy recipe to make and as agreed by my husband, an outstanding meal! This would be perfect to make for a lunch or brunch as you can make a batch of them quite easily. I'm eager to try Monsieur's counterpart the Croque Madame. Basically the same sandwich with an egg over top. I halved the recipe and it was just the perfect amount to make 2 sandwiches. I served mine with arugula tossed with lemon juice and olive oil and a side of fresh strawberries. I did use turkey bacon instead of ham. We are avoiding pork products with the current swine flu outbreak. Turkey bacon tastes remarkably like ham and is very similar in texture. I pan sauteed it until cooked through but not crispy. I know I will be making this recipe again and again.

Croque Monsieur
  • 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 (I used 4 slices whole wheat bread)
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin (I used Turkey Bacon-see above)

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.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa in Paris, Clarkson Potter 2004.


Joelen said...

This looks wonderful and I should really pick up this cookbook soon!

Penny said...

Good job on the sandwich. I wonder about pork products right now. Do you think it is a problem? Not sure myself.

Anonymous said...

Can I substitute cookies for the ham?

KMAYS said...

I haven't had a croque monsieur in forever! Ohhh so yummy.