Thursday, December 30, 2010

Classic Croque Monsieur

i saw a "the best thing i ever ate" show the other day and someone said croque monsieur. since that very second, i have been craving an ooey, gooey, ham and cheese sandwich. my college roomie, N and i had our fair share of croque monsieurs and croque madames.

one bite and i am taken back to a sunny morning in a small cafe in saint-raphaĆ«l on the coast of southern france.  N and i are piercing our forks into the perfectly cooked egg and having a crazy argument about which comes first, thunder or lightening. (long story but i think i finally did set her straight:) i can almost taste the crispy cheese crusted bread filled with ham and gruyere and topped with a perfectly cooked fresh egg.

tonight, we went with the egg-less croque monsieur and i gobbled up every hot, bubbly, cheesy bite. did i mention this sandwich has cheese? yum.

Croque Monsieur
makes 4 sandwiches

1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
1 cup whole milk, warm
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
1/4 lb sliced ham
dijon mustard

preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. add flour and cook 2 minutes. add milk slowly and whisk constantly until milk thickens. stir in salt and pepper, parmesan, and 1/4 cup of gruyere cheese. set aside and assemble sandwiches.

spread a little dijon mustard on 4 pieces of toast and add 2 slices of ham.  sprinkle 1/4 cup grated gruyere on ham and top with second piece of toast. spoon slightly cooled cheese sauce on top of sandwiches and sprinkle remaining shredded gruyere on top of cheese sauce.

bake sandwiches for 5 minutes. turn to oven to broil and broil until tops are bubbly - approximately 3-5 minutes. cool slightly and enjoy.

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