A Croque Monsieur is a wonderful, rich and delicious sandwich that originated as a snack in bars and cafes in France. The name translates as “Gentleman’s Bite” or “Gentleman’s Crunch” depending upon whom you ask. Regardless the translation, the Croque Monsieur is a phenomenal sandwich. It’s also super quick and easy to make.
2 Square Slices of Bread
2 oz Deli Ham
1 Slice of Sharp Cheddar Cheese (traditional Croque Monsieur recipes call for Gruyére cheese, but I prefer the taste of sharp cheddar. Modify to your preference.)
1/2 oz Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 oz Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 oz Butter
2 oz All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 pinch Black Pepper
1 Cup Half & Half
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Pinch Ground Nutmeg
- Begin by making the Béchamel Sauce. Combine 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 pinch black pepper and 1 cup half & half in a cold pot. Bring to a medium heat and slowly stir with a whisk until butter has melted and ingredients have thickened into a smooth consistency. (Do not at any point allow the sauce to come to a boil.) Add 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese and stir in. Once the parmesan cheese has melted into the sauce, stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream. Stir in 1 pinch ground nutmeg.
- Lightly toast the two slices of bread. Don’t over toast them. You just want them to be a little firmer than they are out of the package. (I do this by putting them in the toaster oven for about 2 minutes)
- Begin to assemble your sandwich by coating one slice of bread with a generous portion of béchamel sauce.
- Layer the ham on top of the béchamel coated slice of bread.
- Place sliced cheddar cheese on top of the ham.
- Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread.
- Ladle a generous portion of béchamel over the top of the sandwich. Using a spatula, “paint” the sauce outward and allow it to drip down over the sides of the sandwich. (This will create that beautiful “oneness” of the Croque Monsieur by tying the top and bottom halves together.)
- Place the sandwich in the oven at 425 degrees for approximately 11 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbling and has small brown burned spots on top.
- Serve the sandwich whole and it can be eaten with a knife and fork. Bon appétit!