Croque Monsieur is a scorching ham and cheese sandwich, performed the French manner! Béchamel sauce, ham, cheese and a smear of Dijon mustard, grilled till it’s oozing, this sandwich is the king of grilled cheeses!
Look away should you’re weight-reduction plan: this recipe requires not one, not two, however THREE various kinds of cheese. If we’re going to make this, let’s go all the manner and do it proper! To all the French readers on the market – let me understand how I did?? 😊
If there may be one factor I feel you possibly can rely on with the French in relation to cooking, it’s their knack for taking issues up a notch in the grand pursuit of edible bliss. Usually – and fairly rightly! – this includes the addition of (extra) butter, (extra) cream, (extra) cheese or just (extra) flavour!
Take the humble grilled ham and cheese sandwich. While the remainder of the world will slap a bit of ham and cheese between two bits of floppy bread and name it lunch, the French are eating on THIS:
Need additional convincing? I submit the following!
Paris Mash – The world’s most ridiculously decadent mashed potato;
Potato Dauphinoise – A easy potato bake, however hit with lashings of cream and cheese!;
French Onion Soup – Who else however the French would insist on standing round stirring onions at the range for an hour to extract most attainable flavour?
OK, so I share these ideas in jest! The true origins of Croque Monsieur truly stay largely unknown. Tales vary from French staff who left their lunch bins too near a scorching radiator, to a Parisian bistro proprietor who needed to improvise when he ran out of baguettes (arduous to think about in France!)
Whether borne of an accident or the thoughts of an ingenious French chef, we are able to all agree a world with Croque Monsieur in it’s a happier place (although my butt might not agree!)
What you want for Croque Monsieur
Here’s what it’s essential to make Croque Monsieur. Yes, it’s extra than simply bread, ham and cheese – see my opening statements! 😂
1. Bechamel Sauce
For our béchamel sauce, we’d like:
Cream and milk – You may substitute the cream with extra milk if you’d like, however it’ll cut back the richness of the béchamel! Richness = goodness … 😂;
Butter and flour – The foundation for our roux, which thickens our béchamel sauce; and
Nutmeg and pepper – A contact of spicing for our béchamel. A touch of nutmeg enhances a béchamel superbly.
2. Croque Monsieur sandwich
And right here’s what we’d like for the remainder of our Croque Monsieur:
Ham – Preferably smoked (who doesn’t love smoked ham?), however any ham is nice right here.
Gruyere and Swiss cheese – The fundamental cheeses! Gruyere is an Alpine cheese from Switzerland. It has a pleasantly candy and nutty flavour, and melts properly, making it a super selection for a Croque Monsieur.
“Swiss cheese” is a generic title for mass-produced cheese made in the fashion of Alpine cheeses, particularly milder emmental cheese. We use it right here because it conveniently is available in sliced type for sandwiches, and it’s additionally cheaper than the actual stuff.
Feel free to make use of simply Swiss cheese, or simply gruyere (or different Alpine cheeses, eg. comté , emmental) – or a combination! It’s all as much as your finances, what you will have and what you want. Gruyere, Comté and Emmental are on the pricier finish right here in Australia whereas cheeses offered as “Swiss cheese” are higher worth and have glorious flavour;
Parmesan – Alpine cheeses are comparatively delicate, so parmesan boosts the savoury oomph and saltiness to only the place we would like it, in addition to giving the high of the Croque Monsieur a beautiful crusty golden crown;
Dijon mustard – Superb in any ham and cheese sandwich, and no exception right here! It brings some welcome tang and one other flavour layer to the sandwich; and
Butter – For pan-searing our Croque Monsieur in buttery goodness earlier than it’s completed in the oven!
How to make Croque Monsieur
There are just a few extra steps concerned than slapping a bit of ham and cheese between two items of bread. But consider me, it’s price it. This is not any mere snack we’re crafting right here, that is an occasion. That second while you pull this oozing, molten magnificence out of the oven, and take that first chunk … it’s really certainly one of the most heavenly consuming experiences one can have on this fragile earth!
1. Béchamel sauce
A thick, spreadable Béchamel is used rather than butter to slather on each bit of bread, in addition to slathering the high piece of bread. While it’s made in the identical manner as the cheese sauce for issues like Mac and Cheese, we make it a lot thicker so it may be unfold like butter.
The easiest Croque Monsieurs truly forego any Béchamel sauce. For me although it’s a necessary characteristic that completely makes the Croque Monsieur!
Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan, simply till scorching. This makes it incorporate a lot simpler and extra easily into the flour/butter combination which is very key on this Béchamel Sauce as a result of it’s so thick;
Roux – Make the roux by melting butter, then including the flour and cooking it on a low warmth for three minutes to cook dinner out the uncooked flour. Don’t let the combination turn out to be golden. We need the Béchamel Sauce to be white;
Add scorching milk – Pour in half the scorching milk combination whereas stirring continually (trick to make the Béchamel lump free). Once the milk is integrated into the roux, then add the remaining milk combination and blend till mixed; and
Thicken – Cook, stirring continually, till the combination is so thick you could unfold it like peanut butter on bread. This will solely take a minute or so as a result of the ratio of flour to take advantage of on this Béchamel is increased than regular so it’s spreadable slightly than pourable.
Once performed, take it off the range and put aside till required. It’s high-quality if the Béchamel Sauce cools down. It will turn out to be thicker however nonetheless be spreadable, and it’ll warmth up after we pan fry and bake the Croque Monsieur.
And right here is the best way to assemble the Croque Monsieur:
Slather a slice of untoasted white bread with Béchamel Sauce;
Place two items of cheese on high, folding as wanted to make them match. Then unfold the cheese with Dijon mustard. I do know this appears uncommon to unfold the mustard on the cheese however there’s a superb motive: should you unfold it on the bread, it mixes in with the Béchamel Sauce and you may’t style it! Neat, huh? 🙂;
Layer on ham after which unfold the ham with extra Dijon mustard;
Top with one other layer of cheese (sure, you heard me!);
Spread Béchamel on one other piece of bread; and
Close the sandwich.
We’re on the dwelling stretch! I did forewarn you that there have been just a few extra steps concerned than an everyday grilled cheese or ham sandwich on your lunchbox … and it’s price it!
Pan fry sandwich in a skillet utilizing melted butter (naturally – did you count on anything??);
Place seared sandwich on a tray and slather the high with the remaining Béchamel Sauce;
Sprinkle with gruyere cheese, then parmesan;
Bake for 15 minutes, and at last swap oven to the grill/broiler setting for three minutes to get some pretty bronzing on the high.
Now switch your divine tacky creation to a plate, and dive into it instantly whereas it’s scorching and oozy. Weep with pleasure!
When and the best way to serve Croque Monsieur
Traditionally Croque Monsieurs are served at bistros and are the sort of factor you discover as an off-the-cuff lunchtime providing in France, perhaps with a facet salad and fries (as a result of, you understand, there’s not sufficient energy in the Croque Monsieur as it’s!😂).
Outside of France, it’s extra generally see it on breakfast and brunch menus.
And simply while you thought it wasn’t attainable to gild a lily any extra, let me additionally point out the Croque Madame. This is a well-liked variation in France that serves a minimum of a sunny-facet-up fried egg on high of an already-obscenely-decadent Croque Monsieur!
Now that appears like an ideal approach to begin a day! 😉 – Nagi x
Watch the best way to make it
Croque Monsieur (French scorching ham and cheese sandwich)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Breakfast, Brunch, Light Lunch
Tap or hover to scale
Heat milk and cream: Place milk and cream in a saucepan over medium warmth. Heat till steaming, however do not let it boil. Set apart.
Make roux: Melt butter in a separate small saucepan over medium warmth, then flip the warmth all the way down to low. Add flour and cook dinner, stirring nearly continually, for three minutes. Don’t let it brown.
Add scorching milk: While stirring, add half the milk. Once integrated into the roux, combine in remaining milk, nutmeg and pepper.
Thicken: Mix for 30 seconds to a minute or till it thickens right into a spreadable and delicate butter-like consistency (ie. not runny). If you will have lumps, whisk till gone. Remove from warmth (it’s OK if it cools).
Assemble for pan frying:
Spread with Bechamel: Spread half the béchamel over the four slices of bread, as if you’re buttering them to make regular sandwiches! (Reserve half the béchamel for topping)
Cheese + Dijon: Top two items of bread with 2 slices of gruyere or Swiss cheese every (fold as wanted to make them match). Then unfold the cheese with half the Dijon Mustard (this would possibly sound bizarre, however see in publish for why we do that!).
Ham + Dijon: Top with ham, then unfold ham with remaining Dijon mustard.
Top every of the two slices with 2 extra slices of cheese (once more, folding as wanted), then shut sandwiches with the different slices.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium to medium-excessive warmth. Place sandwiches in the skillet, and cook dinner for two minutes, urgent down frivolously with an egg flip or spatula, till a deep golden brown.
Turn and cook dinner the different facet till golden brown. Transfer to a baking tray.
Bake then broil:
Topping: Slather remaining béchamel thickly on the higher items of bread. Sprinkle with Gruyere, then parmesan.
Bake and broil: Bake 15 minutes, then swap to the grill/broiler for three minutes and grill till the high is golden and effervescent.
Immediately switch to warmed serving plates, with knives and fork for serving (it is too messy to eat with palms.) For a standard French bistro expertise, add a facet of fries and leafy greens frivolously wearing French Dressing or a primary French dressing. Devour and weep with pleasure! (Over the sandwich that’s, not the salad!)
A sourdough that doesn’t have a really thick or too-chewy crust is right (I used Bowan Island sourdough from Harris Farms, in case you have an interest!). Otherwise a ciabatta, pane di casa or different stone baked bread will work a deal with.
If you solely have a delicate bread (like stated customary sandwich bread), toast it first earlier than assembling, that may assist preserve it intact. Also think about using two slices of bread (glued with an additional sprinkle of cheese) to type one!
2. Cheese selections – Comte and Emmental are widespread selections in France. Here in Sydney they are often tougher to come back by and slightly costly! Gruyere and Swiss cheese are splendid alternate options – glorious flavour, glorious melting qualities.
While these are the most conventional cheeses for Croque Monsieur you might completely make this with any good melting cheese (cheddar, Colby, tasty, Monterey Jack and so forth) and it’ll nonetheless be insanely good. Give mozzarella a miss on this one, as whereas it melts properly it tends to be fairly bland in grilled cheeses.
three. Nutrition per sandwich. (I used to be scared to do that calculation. It is lots however I feel these values are considerably exaggerated. Still, food regimen meals this positively ain’t! Wear unfastened pants whereas consuming!!😂)
Calories: 1440cal (72%)Carbohydrates: 83g (28%)Protein: 67g (134%)Fat: 94g (145%)Saturated Fat: 54g (338%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 302mg (101%)Sodium: 2392mg (104%)Potassium: 590mg (17%)Fiber: fourg (17%)Sugar: 7g (eight%)Vitamin A: 2692IU (54%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 1302mg (130%)Iron: 6mg (33%)
Life of Dozer
Dozer after I’m leaving:
And Dozer after I come dwelling:
(Yes, it’s the identical photograph! 😂)